Author: Patricia Lynne
Published: July 18th 2012
Source: Review Copy from Author
Add It: Goodreads, The Book Depository, Amazon
“You are mine.”
I am a real person: heedless of a childhood spent under the supervision of an old man I only know as Master.
“You belong to me.”
I am a real person: regardless of my teenage years bound by violence as the adoptive son of the Victory Street Gang’s leader.
“You will obey me.”
I am a real person: despite the visions I see in others’ eyes. Snapshots of their futures.
“You will cower before me.”
I am a real person: my life will be my own. I belong to no one.
“You. Are. MINE.”
There’s something different
The very first thing that everyone should be aware of before starting this review is just how imaginative this story is. I found it difficult to put down and when I wasn’t reading it, I kept going back to it. It is a novel that is unique and different and has an easy writing style that really helped to make the novel better. I would easily recommend this book to sci-fi fans but also to anyone who just wants something that’s a little different and has a really interesting and intriguing story.
The snapshots keep coming
It is the concept of this novel that really got me hooked on this story. The synopsis is strong and really caught my attention and made me really intrigued and this stayed throughout the novel as it was really shrouded in mystery. When the explanation finally came at the end of the book, I loved it. It made the story really brilliant and it was totally unexpected to me. I was really impressed and just so glad that the ending didn’t ruin the rest of the book.
Along with the concept, the plot of this book and the structure was really interesting. It follows the tale of Cyclop’s life set into two parts – almost. I found it really fascinating and page-turning. I was hooked on him, and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I loved the subplots that went on alongside it all as well and just found that the structure and narrative was really creative and imaginative and just really worth reading.
It’s hidden in his eyes
I’ve already mentioned that I was hooked on Cyclop and it is therefore easy to say that I simply loved him. Every worry he had, every strength he had… he just felt so real and not at all like a 2D character. Patricia really managed to get in depth with his character and all of the issues that surrounded him. I loved how protective he was, how worried he got but how he tried to hide things from Amber because he cared about her so much. I just felt his humanity and his emotions and just knew that he was really well written character.
I had a few issues with Amber to begin with – I couldn’t even pinpoint why I didn’t like her but eventually I started to see her through Cyclop’s eyes and soon she became a more well-liked character in my eyes. She was strong, passionate and caring and she was worried about Cyclop and never stopped helping him. She seemed to be innocent and fragile but it turned out that there was a lot more to her hidden beneath and I quite liked that. She fit well with Cyclop and I was really happy with the way it all turned out.
I feel I should also mention some more secondary characters. I loved Daryll, I wanted to pick him up and hug him. I could understand everything he went through and just wished I could have made things easier for him. I adored Jacob. He was possibly the cutest character ever and I wanted to be his friend and spend lots of time with him. I also loved Keandra but I also really liked Nigel and felt for him and could understand him so well. It is clear to me that Patricia Lynne really knows how to write really well-rounded and heart-warming characters.
He stands tall
Overall this book is one that really kept me entertained. I adored the characters, felt my heart beating faster as I read their journey’s and just thoroughly enjoyed myself as I read the words on the page. It was a quick, easy and intelligent read that I would easily tell other people to read. The writing style was unique, as was the concept and I just really found myself hooked on every word on the page. Without repeating myself too much I will end the review here, letting you all know that this is one book that you really should pick up because who knows, you just may like it even more than I did!
*I received this book in return for an honest review *
So I am a terrible host, truly I am. I almost forgot to post this and I think Melissa would be giving me the death glare. Eeek! But, because you’ve all been patient and waited an entire month, you’ll be glad to know this interview is well worth the wait.
I introduce you all to… MELISSA!
Tell us a little something about yourself!
I’m 26, I love reading, writing creatively, and now, blogging. I’m slightly in love (some might say obsessed) with the color purple. I love learning in any form. I have my BA in Sociology as well as an AA in Psychology. Someday, I’d like to get a Masters in either Psychology or Library Sciences. Personality wise, I’m a pretty laid back person, I try to get along with everyone, and I like to help people in any way that I can. I’m also a major night owl, although that has changed slightly in recent months. I just seem to get a lot more done at night.
Do you enjoy running your blog?
Yes! I enjoy running my blog very much! This isn’t my first blog, I had a personal, more daily journal type blog on another site but I have to say that this one is a lot more fun. I’ve gotten the chance to meet so many cool bloggers, and also to connect with authors, which is something I never thought I would do. The only thing I wish is that I had more hours in the day to read because I’m incredibly behind on reviews at the moment and my TBR pile isn’t getting any smaller :S
When you started, did you ever think that it would end up the way it has?
No, I had no idea that my blog would grow to the proportions that it has. I didn’t think I would ever have any followers, I mainly started the blog for myself as a way to keep track of my reviews, and now I have over 100 followers, and that is just amazing to me. I love interacting with my followers and just bloggers in general because they’re such a cool group of people.
Is there an interesting background story to the name of your blog, if there is, tell us!
The name behind my blog is partly because I’m just nerdy and I like the alliteration, and partly because of my habits as a night owl. I’ve always been one of those people who stays up late. I think it’s the fact that it’s really quiet at night, and I love to just sit in the quiet and think, so I’m almost always up past midnight. Goodreads has contributed to this too, ever since I started entering giveaways there I find myself always staying up til midnight to see if I’ve won anything.
As we’ve got this far without mentioning it, why not tell us a little something about your blog, what you post, how it runs, who you cater to, etc.
My blog isn’t genre specific. I read a little bit of everything. My goal is to post at least 3 times a week, but as I’m a bit behind right now I haven’t quite been able to keep up with that lately, but that’s going to change. I mainly post reviews, but I do a few memes, the occasional author interview, and in the past I’ve had a few general posts about my life thrown in here and there but I’ve tried to keep those to a minimum and mainly focus on books. And of course I do the occasional giveaway as well. Most of my posts are scheduled for the midnight hour to correspond with the name of my blog (and many of them are written then, too)
Do you participate or host and blog memes? If you do, which is your favourite?
My favorite blog meme that I participate in has to be Behind the Blog, which I am a co-host of, along with my two favorite and most awesome blogger buddies, Faye and Kathe. It’s been so much fun to come up with topics and to read as people let us know a little more about themselves and add in that personal touch to their blogs. I also participate in Sunday Post, which is a book haul meme. I’ve also done the occasional Teaser Tuesday post as well.
What about blog tours and blog hops? Have you ever or do you ever want to participate in them?
I’ve never been asked to participate in a blog tour or blog hop. I’m definitely open to participating in them though.
What is the best book you read in 2011?
I read a lot of books that I really enjoyed in 2011 but if I had to choose a favorite I would definitely have to say A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I absolutely loved it, and I cannot wait for the next book in the series, Shadow of Night which is released in a few short days!
What about in 2012?
So far in 2012 I would have to say that my favorite book I’ve read is any of the Hunger Games series. I can’t choose just one, they’re all so good!
Has there ever been a book that you haven’t been able to finish? If so, what was it? And why couldn’t you finish?
There have been a couple of books I haven’t been able to finish, but not many. I have a shelf called ‘abandoned’ on Goodreads and it only has 5 books on it because not finishing books is a pet peeve of mine. The main reason that I couldn’t finish them was because of the writing style. If it just doesn’t grab me, or I have to struggle to get through it, I just won’t finish the book.
What is your favourite book genre?
Ohhh it’s so hard to name a favorite book genre! I like pretty much everything, but I really enjoy memoirs and biographies, and I’m also a sucker for Women’s Fiction aka “chick-lit”
Quick Fire Round
ebook or hardcopy?
Hardcopy. Although I’ve started reading e-books more often, I’ll always be a hardcopy person, just because I love the feel of a book in my hands
ya or adult?
Oooh so hard to choose! There are good books in both, though I’d say I lean more towards YA because I’ll always be a kid at heart
vampires or werewolves?
Vampires. I’ve read more stories with vampires in them, so I have to go with them.
chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate. Hands down
harry potter or twilight?
Harry Potter forever. I’ll always be waiting for my letter from Hogwarts. Admittedly I still have not finished the Twilight series.
four or peeta?
Peeta. I haven’t read any of the Lorien Legacies series, so I can’t say whether I would like Four or not.
series or single?
Hmmm. I’ve read some really good series and some really good singles, but if I had to choose I’d say series, because I’m one of those people who likes to learn all the details they can about a story and characters, and in series you get so much more of that background than in standalone books (usually).
blogger or wordpress?
Blogger. I’ve never used WordPress, but I’ve heard good things about it. And although Blogger has its issues at times I do like it. I especially like the post scheduling feature.
Is there anything else you would like to say about you or your blog?
I’d like to thank the lovely Faye for having me on her blog today. And for being such an awesome blogger and friend. I’d also like to thank everyone who stops by my blog to comment or even just to read, it means a lot that you take the time to see what I have to say. It’s been an amazing 6+months of blogging and I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months (and beyond) holds for me in the blogging world and in life. Even though my blog hasn’t been as active as I’d like lately, I hope you’ll check it out sometime!
So now you know more about her, go follow her glorious blog!
Summary: (From Goodreads)
Even as a struggling opera singer, Paige Marshall has never seen anything like the cutthroat competition of the Prospect Glen High School show choir. Coaching these championship-hungry students may be her toughest gig yet…
Especially when her best young male singer is suspected of killing the arrogant coach of Prospect Glen’s fiercest rival. To clear his name, Paige will have to sort through a chorus of suspects, and go note-for-note with a killer who wants her out of the spotlight for good.
Before it begins
I feel it is important to start this review by sending out my apologies. This was supposed to be written and posted during the books blog tour but my graduation week just turned out to be more hectic than I thought it would be so it never happened. I would therefore like to extend my apologies to the publicist of JKSCommunications, Sami Lien, and to the author, Joelle. Hopefully they can forgive me for this. Now, without further ado, the review that you’re all waiting so patiently for.
The stage is set
This novel was a great read. It was enjoyable and entertaining and gripping and it was honestly just one book that I found myself really liking. It was easy to read and the tension and mystery built throughout it which helped to keep me really interested in what was going on. Joelle has a way with words and I am now really looking forward to carrying on this series and also reading more of her work. This is a novel that I would quite easily recommend to other readers, especially those who love crime and mystery books.
The performers take their positions
If there was one thing that I really loved about this novel it was the characters. Paige was such a strong yet believable character. She had her weaknesses and her limits and she understood them and I know that some characters usually just don’t. She was driven and stubborn yet protective and curious and just friendly. She was always looking out for those she cared about, always trying to find loopholes. She was a great protagonist and really helped to make the story more interesting and entertaining. Which you know, is the key to most stories, isn’t it?
My second favourite character in this book would have to be Mike. With the way he looks at Paige, that quirky smile and just the way he felt so realistic and brilliant was enough for me. There was one moment in the book where I just felt a little, “oh really? Umm… no.” But it was quickly over and didn’t change my entire opinion on him which was good. He was an entertaining character who helped to take away from the seriousness of the book. Aunt Millie was another fun character who was really helpful with advice – though not quite the romantic advice – and was just brilliant with her pink-covered everything and her little dog who hates everyone.
The concert gets under way
The plot of this book was incredible. It kept you guessing throughout the book as to what had actually happened. You were only ever given small details, never enough to put the whole entire thing together. It was fast-paced and really managed to keep the reader guessing. Even during the sub-plot parts of the novel, mentions of the on-going crime investigation crop up and become examined and it is this which helps to make this book more enjoyable, in my opinion. It allowed the author to include dynamic relationships and scenes that seemed to be of no consequence which made the book more fun and entertaining.
It is clear that Joelle is a brilliant and talented writer and simply has a way of keeping the reader interested. This book never gets too serious as there is always something funny awaiting around the corner to keep you on your toes. She gives enough tension throughout the book and just manages to keep the flow of the book brilliantly. I loved the mystery of it and how it finally came to light as to who the murderer was. I did guess towards the end but it didn’t occur to me for some time – but maybe someone who has read more crime novels would have figured it out sooner, who knows? – but when I worked it out I wasn’t annoyed that I knew before Paige, I was just that much more involved. I urged her to take the right turn, to come to the right conclusion and to solve the murder that had turned her life upside down.
The curtain lowers
Overall this is a novel that was thoroughly entertaining. It was full of mystery and tension and left me feeling glad that I had picked it up. I am definitely looking forward to reading more about Paige and the other characters and knowing what else is going to happen. I liked the setting of the choir and how all of that rolled together. I think it really helped to make the book even more interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes crime novels and to anyone who likes everything glee club. It is directed at a more mature audience but I would say that older teens would definitely still enjoy this novel as much as I did. (I hope!)
** I received this book in return for an honest review **
Behind the Blog is a meme to help bloggers connect their life and interests to the content showcased on their blog. The co-hosts, Faye, Kathe, and Melissa will provide a different topic, idea, or question every week that bloggers can relate to themselves and the books, films, or other media they find interesting!
Everyday, a country celebrates a holiday. Every. Single. Day. However, on the twenty-seventh of July every year, Finland celebrates something unique: National Sleepy Head Day, during which people in a household throw the latest sleeper (or the last to wake up) into the sea. How long do you sleep? Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Sleep. What a glorious and wonderful thing, right? Right. And when it comes around, it usually is amazing. Unfortunately for me, however, sleep is something that is often unattainable and hard to come by. Some nights I may sleep for a full eight hours, others I will get a lowly two hours and other nights I may be in bed for eight hours but will wake up on the hour, every hour and so don’t really sleep all that much at all. The only constant about my sporadic sleeping pattern is how I feel when I wake up in the morning.
Whether I have slept for eight hours or for two, it is always incredibly hard for me to wake up in the morning. I usually have to set about six alarms because otherwise I simply wouldn’t get out of bed. I also have to wake up an hour (if not more) before I have to leave the house simply to give myself time to get out of the zombie zone I go into in the morning. It has been stated that in the morning I am actually an entirely different person. I don’t communicate in anything but grunts and I often just glare at people and items like the kettle which takes to long to heat the water for my morning coffee.
Therefore, it is safe to assume that if you want to badger me about something, wait until the middle of the afternoon to approach me about it or just expect an onslaught of crap. Hence, as well, while I schedule my blog posts the night before – heaven knows I would not be awake enough to write my posts in the morning to be posted around that time. They would be cranky and not very entertaining or fun at all!
Ironically enough, however, this zombie zone is an entirely new “phase” for me. Growing up, and all the way to the age of sixteen, I was actually an early riser and once I woke, I was awake. I kind of miss those days. I didn’t have to wake so early in the morning because I could just crawl out of bed and go straight into the morning routine without relying on caffeine to keep me going. That would be completely impossible now. Shameful but just one of those things I suppose.
Now I am a night owl and I love it. I usually hit midnight and then all the tiredness of the day disappears and I am suddenly a bundle of energy which is all well and good except when I have to wake up early in the morning. : p!
I’m struggling to think of any books that have to do with sleep so if you can think of any, I’d love to hear about them!
Film wise, the only film I have thought of was;
Insomnia – Which is a film which focuses on the disease where one cannot sleep at all. Hypoinsomnia I think it’s called. It’s a really intense and interesting film that I would recommend but you have to be ready for an onslaught of weird! Haha.
But now that you’ve got to here, why don’t you join us!
Behind the Blog is a new meme for bloggers themselves. To find out more, check out the introduction on my blog or that on Kathe’s.
Are you joining us? Here are our rules:
- The hosts’ Behind the Blog posts go live at midnight on Friday, GMT + 0:00. Feel free to post before that and then just link up on Friday!
- Feel free to make use of the button shown above or, if it clashes with your blog colors, e-mail us or make your own.
- Read, write, and connect! The Linky is there for you. Make use of it!
- Last but not the least, have fun!
Jonathan from the book Brunswick has stopped by today for an interview for the Brunswick Blog Tour
Hello Jonathan and welcome to A Daydreamer’s Thoughts.
Hi thanks for the invite, it’s nice to talk to you.
Let’s start with something easy, tell us a little something about yourself.
Well I guess I’m a typical 15 year old. I like hanging out with my friends and love being with my family. I like to write and tell stories, that’s something I have always done that has made me different from others. I like that though. I suppose nothing major has ever happened to me until I found myself in Brunswick.
Now Jonathan, tell us about the game you used to play with your father as a kid.
That was great, those games were some of the best memories. We used to be captains in an army or sometimes we would be wizards! We would just play whatever came in to our heads. Well, what ever came in to my head really but Dad would always go along with it. He was really good at getting in to character, he started the game when he was a little boy but never really put that much thought in to it. He always said that he played it better when he was with me than when he was a kid.
Did you ever imagine that the world you created could have become real?
Definitely not. I mean those are the sort of things that I tell stories about and they are all in my head. I guess I never really knew just how powerful a thought could be. Until now that is!
Who was your favourite villager?
Freya. I know that I spent a lot more time with the others but Freya took care of me. From the minute I woke up in Brunswick I just wanted to go home. I missed my Mum really badly. Freya was there to look after me, the whole time I was there in the village of Torin she acted like a Mother to me. I was really grateful for that. I miss Grace though.
Did you enjoy your adventure?
I did, I never thought that anything like that could happen and I’m glad that it did. I proved to myself just what I can do if I put my mind to it.
What, for you, were some of the scariest things you had to face?
It was scary being without my family in a strange place. I’ve never been in that situation before, if it wasn’t for Freya I think I would have found it even harder though. To be honest, I was probably more afraid of having to take charge of our troops than I was of the actual army of Volker that we were going to fight! I mean I’m just a kid and the Volker were pretty big, but having everyone think that I was some great leader and fighter was a lot to carry. Thank god that Hector took the strain and helped me. I’m a bit claustrophobic as well, I don’t like feeling constricted. The air near the Tower was like thick smog and smoke. It was so hard to breathe around there, which scared me. As soon as you walked in to it, it was like being strangled by invisible hands. It was horrible.
As a fifteen year old boy, do you have any idea what the future holds for you?
Well, not really, but I hope it holds a job as a writer. That’s the only thing that I know I want to do. As for anything else I guess we will have to wait and see. Between you and me though I am hoping that I get to go back to Brunswick one day!!
And a quick fire round
Day or night?
Pepsi or coke?
Real life or imagination?
Good or Evil?
Dog or Cat?
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Action-Led or Mundane Life?
Creativity or Order?
Thank you Jonathon for chatting with me today! It’s been a pleasure.
If you would like to see more of Jonathon, then feel free to head on other and read the book he stars in, Brunswick by Anne Haines.
She has been writing from an early age and even took to illustrations as she went through her teenage years. Although she still sketches as a hobby she now prefers to focus on her writing. At nineteen she became a mother and had to put her writing on hold for a more lucrative job to support her and her son, as it was just the two of them. She never gave up the idea of becoming a writer though and when her son was four he gave her the idea for what is now her first book ‘Brunswick’.
After two and half years of writing her book and researching the self-publishing industry, Ann’s book ‘Brunswick’ was published on Amazon. She became part of the Indie Publishing community that she loves and is widely involved in. Over the years she has had many ideas for her work and so we can expect to see much more of this new Indie Author.
This post today will look at Harry Potter over the years, great moments, funny moments, scary moments, action-filled moments and also a look at some of the great characters that have filled our lives lately. Originally this was supposed to air on the 14th July as it was my birthday and HP has been a part of my life for many years but things didn’t go quite as to plan so it’s getting posted today instead.
The Moment that Started it All
Harry awakes on a normal day in the Dursley household, ready to spend yet another day being treated unfairly. Then when he goes to get the post he notices that there is a letter addressed specifically to him; Harry Potter, The Cupboard Under the Stairs. Thus we begin the journey of a young famous boy wizard who had no idea just how special he was. This moment had to be mentioned for without this moment, without this idea that came to J. K. Rowling all those years ago, the world would have never known Harry Potter.
Sorting Hat Decides
How different would Harry Potter be if he had been sorted into Slytherin like the hat originally wanted? I loved the Sorting Hat ceremony and I actually missed it when it was skipped because Harry was being scolded for being late, and the year they never went. I always loved reading the song and trying to decipher what message the Hat would give to them for the upcoming year. If I was to sit on that stool I would hope to be sorted into Ravenclaw but I have a feeling I’d go and be with the Hufflepuffs instead but you know what? I’m totally okay with that decision.
A tough choice for this one but I think I’m going to have to go with Charms. Maybe it is a boring choice and a simple one but I simply love that this is where the basic spells are learnt. What is taught in this class would help wizards with everything else they did to me. For me, Charms is the same space as English, without English, all my other classes (bar Maths & Science) would be too difficult because essay writing would be extremely complicated!
The Quidditch Game Above All Others
A question asked on the form was whether or not one would play Quidditch or simply watch it. I decided that I would definitely love to play it. I can only imagine the feel of the broom, the wind in my hair… the height and just the game itself. It would be spectacular. (Of course, I’m not saying I’d be any good!). For me though, the best Quidditch game in the book was Harry’s very first game where he swallowed the snitch – honestly, is there anything more thrilling than that?
Ingrained into my Memory
My most memorable moment. This actually took me a while to think of what to put here. I wanted to choose the right moment, you know? The one I finally went with was the moment in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when my beloved Sirius fell into the veil. I could not stop crying for weeks when it happened, I actually stopped reading the book for a few days before carrying on. It killed me. And I was right there alongside Harry, knowing in my heart that Sirius wasn’t dead, that he simply couldn’t be dead. Oh yeah, my heart broke into pieces and it will be a moment I will never forget.
Laughing till I Cry
One thing that J.K. Rowling managed to do with Harry Potter, one of the reasons that it was such a success was because all the action and tears was in between pearls of laughter. She knew exactly what was needed to keep us entertained. Choosing just one moment that really made me laugh was again, a difficult feat, but I have to say that it was probably the moment when Fred and George packed their bags and said a hearty goodbye to the castle, leaving a massive mayhem in their absence. I just loved reading it and watching it on screen was just brilliant. Such a great moment.
The Death That Hit Hardest
Obviously you are all sitting here thinking that I’m definitely going to choose Sirius since I was so affected by his death but you would be wrong. There were so many heart-breaking deaths throughout the series. My heart still yearns for so many characters and choosing the death that really struck home is not easy. My head tells me to choose Fred because I was in mourning for him for a long time. My heart tells me to choose Hedwig because damnit, that owl really made my heart stop beating when it fluttered it’s last wing beat. But, putting my head and heart together, the death that really, really hit me was Dobby’s. Never have I wanted so badly to wish that I could change the writing in the book before. It was a sad, sad time in my head and heart for a long time when that was read.
There was so much more in the series that was just breath-taking. Characters that stole my breath away, made me have hope and happiness and sadness. Characters that felt so real to me, they felt like they were my friends. Amazing moments such as flying past dragons, flying thestrals, fighting Voldemort, dancing in Yule Balls, choosing potions, playing wizards chess, researching, fighting Malfoy, laughing with the Weasleys. I wish I could detail each and every moment here but I fear this post would become extremely long and would ruin the story for so many people.
Characters that don’t get enough love
Well, okay, maybe some of these characters do, but I still feel they should get so much more.
Draco Malfoy – I have always loved him. Since we first met him, I knew there was good in him and if that’s not shown by the end when he is standing opposite Voldemort, I don’t know what is.
Remus Lupin – He was the best DADA teacher Harry ever had and the closest person he ever had to a father (after, Sirius, of course) and I just felt that he was simply amazing. He had so much to deal with and he did it so well. Forever in my memory.
Neville Longbottom – Dude, he was just… so brilliant. Everyone cast him aside because he was just dumb and pathetic but I know that he was brave, loyal, smart and genuine and I just wish that he could have had some more of the limelight.
Severus Snape – Gah. I hated him. I hated him. I hated him. Until, y’know, I freaking loved him. He is just such a great character. So well written. He really just is the best and my love for him is ever-growing.
Thanks for Reading!
So there we have it! Some glorious moments that I loved for you all to gush over! What were some of your favourite moments? Anything I missed that you felt needed a chance? Tell me so in the comments!
And stop by tomorrow for some more Potter Love, and a giveaway!
Oh! Hello there Guys!
Are you ready for this announcement? Are you sure you can handle it?
I’m certain you can!
Alongside the brilliant Danie and Kate from Booktacular, I will be hosting a readathon!
Ready, Set, Read-Athon is a readathon where those with overpowering and overtowering TBR piles can join us as we pledge to read as many of them as we can in one weekend.
There will be giveaways, twitter chats, encouragement and new friends to make! Oh, and there’ll be lots of reading too – we hope!
The readathon will take place August 31st at 12:01am to Semptember 2nd at 11:59pm.
To participate you don’t even need to have a blog! (Wahoo!) Simply post a comment on this post or on Danie’s post here.
Link up to your participating posts in the linky – spread the word! – and don’t forget to post your “plan to read” posts the day before or the day the readathon begins to be in with a chance of entering the giveaways!
And, if you have a twitter handle, leave it in the comment section so we can add you and keep the chatting during the readathon easy.
We look forward to you joining us! It’s going to be great fun.
If you want to take the button to advertise on your blog, please do, but please credit me! :)
Anyone that knows me, knows that I love fairy tales. Actually I take that back…I’m OBSESSED with fairy tales. One of the first books that I ever bought with my allowance was English Fairy Tales. It was hard cover, with yellow cloth and it has a picture of a giant holding a tiny ax. I was eleven years old at the time. I was lonely, nerdy, didn’t fit in with anyone at school and the only escape that I had was in books.
Anyway it’s safe to say that I quickly became obsessed with fairy tales. I devoured books like Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales, Alice in Wonderland, among others that I’ll list some other time. :)
I’m gonna list some of my favorite fairy tales and why:
1. Snow White ~ First story I ever read that featured a brunette. But I like Snow White because she is complicated; she lost her mother, and then her father. She was left with a hateful stepmother that envied her, tried to kill her and she overcame all of these different obstacles: being poisoned with a comb, strangled with ribbons and then ultimately killed with a poisoned apple. I think it was Snow White’s vanity that killed her (because the seven dwarves warned her not to let anyone in and she disobeyed). She had a lot of harsh lessons to learn. This is why she’s my favorite princess.
2. Alice in Wonderland ~ This story is just plain fun. White rabbit, mad hatters, talking caterpillars (that smokes a hookah thankyouverymuch), a crazy-head-chopping queen of hearts and a very confused little girl named Alice.
3. Toads and Diamonds ~ This was one of the first fairy tales I read and was absolutely fascinated by the story of these two sisters.
This fairy tale is a little obscure so if you’ve never heard of it, here’s a little info I got from Wikipedia. I first read about it in Michael Hague’s Tales of Charles Perrault.
A bad-tempered old widow had two daughters, her older daughter was disagreeable and proud but looked and behaved like her mother, and therefore was her favorite child. She and her eldest daughter badly mistreated the woman’s younger daughter, who was sweet, courteous, and beautiful, but resembled her late father.
One day while drawing water from the well, the younger daughter was asked for a drink by an old woman. The girl politely consented and after giving it, she found that the woman was a fairy, who had taken the guise of a crone to test the character of mortals. As the girl was so kind and compassionate toward her, the fairy blessed her with having either a jewel, a diamond or a pretty flower fall from her mouth whenever she spoke.
Upon arriving home and explaining why she took so long to her mother, the widow was delighted at the sight of diamonds, pearls and roses falling from the girl’s lips, and desired that her favored eldest daughter, Fanny, should have the gift as well. Fanny protested, but the widow forcibly sent her to the well with instruction to act kindly toward an old beggar woman. Fanny set off but the fairy appeared as a fine princess, and requested that the girl draw her a drink from the well. The elder daughter spoke rudely to the fairy and insulted her. The fairy decreed that, as punishment for her despicable attitude, either a toad or a snake would fall from Fanny’s mouth whenever she spoke.
When Fanny arrived home, she told her story to her mother and disgusting toads and vipers fell from her mouth with each word. The widow, in a fury, drove her younger daughter out of the house. In the woods, she met a king’s son, who fell in love with her and married her. In time, even the widow was sickened by her older daughter, and drove her out, and she died alone and miserable in the woods
I’m using these characters in the sequel to First Frost. Safe to say…I’m having tons of fun.
4. The Three Heads of the Well ~ I like this story because the main character sets out to seek her fortune.
This is another slightly obscure fairy tale:
In the days before King Arthur, a king held his court in Colchester. He had a beautiful daughter by his beautiful wife, but when his wife died, he married a hideous widow with a daughter of her own, for her riches, and his new wife set him against his daughter. His daughter begged leave to go and seek her fortune, and he permitted it, and his wife gave her brown bread, hard cheese, and a bottle of beer.
She goes on her way and sees an old man sitting on a stone. When he asks what she has, she tells him and offers him some. After they eat, he tells her how to get through a hedge, and that she will find three golden heads in a well there, and should do whatever they tell her.
The heads ask her to comb them and wash them, and after she does so, one says she shall be beautiful, the next that she will have a sweet voice, and the third that she shall be fortunate and queen to the greatest prince that reigns.
She goes on, and a king sees her and falls in love with her. They marry and go back to visit her father. Her stepmother is enraged that her stepdaughter and not her daughter gained all this, and sent her daughter on the same journey. The daughter was rude to the old man, and slighted the three heads, and they curse her with leprosy, a harsh voice, and marriage to a cobbler.
She goes on. A cobbler offers to cure her leprosy and voice if she will marry him, and she agrees.
Her mother, finding she had married a cobbler, hangs herself, and the king gives his stepdaughter’s husband a hundred pounds to quit the court and live elsewhere.
5. Beauty and the Beast ~ I love this fairy tale because the moral of the story is to search for inner beauty. And of course my favorite is the Disney version…seriously…I would totally marry the Beast just for the library. I remember the first time I saw the movie and my jaw dropped when I saw the library scene. I wanted to live there. :)
6. Snow White and Rose Red ~ Sometimes they refer to Snow White as Rose White. I like this story because they seem to get into mischief with the dwarf. Some of my favorite stories have bears in them. LOL. I wonder what that says about me? Hmmm…I wonder.
7. Cinderella ~ Classic fairy tale. It has everything, wicked stepmother, wicked stepsisters, glass slippers, fairy godmothers, a ball, and a prince. What’s not to love?
Hint, hint, Cinderella’s glass slipper will be a major item of interest in the sequel to First Frost. :)
Anyway, those are just some of my favorites, I had to stop myself from adding more because otherwise this would’ve been a ridiculously long blog post. I guess some people would find my fascination with fairy tales strange. But I like to think that we all need a little magic and whimsy in our lives. This is why books are crucial to our existence. It’s a safe way to escape. And you’re probably wondering why so many writers use fairy tales in their writing. My response? WHY NOT! All of these stories are just an endless fountain of inspiration.
I can only hope that you all enjoy my book First Frost, all I have ever wanted to do was have a bit of fun and entertain people with my work.
For more information please visit my website http://lizdejesus.webs.com/
Purchase First Frost
So today I am introducing you to the talented Nancy Straight, author of the Destiny Series.
She has written you all a wonderful guest post on the catalyst for the series. This was supposed to be posted on Tuesday but due to human error, it is being posted now. (Major apologies to Bewitching Tours and Nancy Straight)
You may also remember that I reviewed Meeting Destiny the first book in the series, but if you haven’t read it yet, head over here now.
The Destiny Series is a trilogy: Meeting Destiny, Destiny’s Revenge and Destiny’s Wrath. The idea came to me when some friends and I were talking about how some people are just meant to be together. Maybe they kept running into the same person at different times in their lives, each time it wasn’t the right time for them to be together. Fate continued to bring them together until it was the right time. Another couple I knew seemed to be a matched set, their personalities were opposite but when they were together you couldn’t help but have a twinge of jealousy that –wow, they really were made for each other.
The Destiny Series takes that idea a little bit further. Not only are two people meant to be together in this lifetime; they’ve shared multiple lifetimes, each time coming a step or two closer to perfecting their souls. The Destiny Series’ journey comes off as a contemporary romance initially, where you almost have to turn your head and squint to see the paranormal aspects in Meeting Destiny. One of the supernatural characters makes a mistake and a demon with an obsession is unleashed.
Why did I write it this way? I read Paranormal Romance, Paranormal Thrillers, Urban Fantasy all the time. Watching characters thrown into impossible situations and accepting them can be hard on the reader. When I began the series, I wanted characters that everyone could relate to; going about their lives with all the insecurities and challenges we’re all faced with in our daily lives. It isn’t until midway through Meeting Destiny that the paranormal aspects reveal themselves, and even then it isn’t a shocking reveal – more like a: “Geeze, I could totally see that happening.”
The Destiny Series has so many things woven in that it’s hard to put it in a single genre. There is murder, mystery, heartbreak, love, and a new take on an old idea of past lives and soul mates. I’d love for you to give the series a try. As a means to test drive the series and see if it’s something you’d enjoy, the first book in the series is free from all major book stores as an e-book. I hope you love it!
Other books in series: Book 2 Destiny’s Revenge and Book 3 Destiny’s Wrath have been released
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Number of pages: 295
Lauren is visited in her dreams for years by a stranger claiming to be her destiny. Destiny becomes reality when paths cross during a failed robbery attempt. Lauren and the stranger experience chemistry like no other and now her doubt over her long time relationship with her high school sweetheart is not her only secret…someone else knows about her keen intuition and sixth sense. A mysterious clairvoyant seeks Lauren out and tells her not only of her life now but what the future may hold. Soon Lauren is in the middle of a murder investigation and a questionable friendship with the key suspect. Law enforcement, friends and family are concerned for Lauren but unfortunately they are unaware of the true danger…Sinister forces are at work and will stop at nothing to destroy Lauren’s abilities.
Nancy was born in Sioux City Iowa, left the cold of the Midwest in 1991 and only returns to see family in the summer time. She spent ten years traveling the world as a US Marine and settled in rural SC with her husband and two children. She has three rotten dogs, enjoys RVing with her family, reading and writing all types of Paranormal literature.
So today I am introducing you to the talented Rachel Hartman, author of Seraphina.
She has written you all a guest post about how she got Seraphina published. It is truly amazing and gives you a small insight into the publishing world. Hope you enjoy it!
The great mathematician Euclid is supposed to have told King Ptolemy: “There is no royal road to geometry.” A king has to work as hard as anyone else to understand mathematics.
There is no royal road to getting published either. I know it sometimes looks like there is. Sometimes writers get exceptionally lucky and appear to encounter no obstacles. Such cases are rare, however, and they certainly should not be used as the measuring stick for success – or worse, as a stick to beat yourself with when your own path turns out very differently.
No two writers follow the same road. Mine has been long and sometimes distressingly bumpy. Two things got me through: patience and stubbornness. Patience is commonly extolled as a virtue; we all know how it’s useful. Stubbornness can be a character flaw if it makes one inflexible and unwilling to change, but it can be a blessing if it comes out in response to a challenge. The greater the challenge, the louder the voice in my head says, Oh yeah? We’ll see about that!
Early on I got rejections. Most writers do. I had fewer than average, perhaps, in part because I got some feedback that I took immediately to heart. If I had only heard it from one agent, I might have ignored it, but multiple agents wrote me back saying: you really have a way with words! Once you figure out what a plot is, think of me again. In fact, one agent was so irritated by my incapacity in the plot department that he called me up and scolded me.
That’s the agent I eventually signed with. If he was passionate enough about my characters, world, and writing that he would take the trouble to phone me when the plot disappointed, I wanted him on my side.
Still, in the moment it was discouraging. I cried. My husband, seeing my distress, said, “If writing is going to upset you this much, you can do something else, right? You could be an accountant.”
I think those words were intended to reassure me, not goad me into action, but goad me they did. My stubbornness kicked in. I rewrote the book – with a plot this time – and I sent it back to that agent. He signed me; he sold the book in short order. I thought my publishing journey was nearly done.
My plot had two arcs, and my editor thought it would be better divided into two separate books. I got a two-book contract, and a pile of rewriting to do. I rewrote the first half as its own book, submitted it , and waited. And waited. I believe I waited about nine months. This is where patience comes in. There is a lot of waiting in publishing, which I hadn’t realized. My agent gave me the most useful analogy: it’s like being on the tarmac at the airport. It’s not that the control tower has forgotten you’re there. It’s that there’s a whole line of other planes that have to take off before yours can.
In this particular case, however, there was also something else going on. My editor quit the publisher without ever giving me notes on the manuscript. I don’t hold a grudge; it was nothing personal, and it was merely bad luck that I happened to be waiting. She left, and my book was effectively an orphan.
This is why it’s good to have an agent, friends! My agent was able to buy back the manuscript and shop it around other places. That’s when I finally arrived at Random House.
At last, I thought, my long road is really over.
It was many months more (during which I worried, certain this second editor was also going to evaporate into the ether) before my new editor finally came to me with a different kind of bad news: he loved my writing. He loved the characters, world, themes, everything about my book… except the plot. He’d been racking his brains all these months trying to devise a way to fix the plot and he just couldn’t think how it might be done. I had set an intimate family drama in the middle of this enormous, complicated, wonderful world that I made practically no use of. It was as if I had been obsessively tending a begonia for years, all the while ignoring the great beautiful garden all around me. Maybe it was the best begonia ever – and surely he was a begonia fancier at heart, because he’d signed me after all – but he thought I could do something so much bigger, if only we could work out how.
And so I rewrote the book, completely, from the beginning. The characters and world were mostly the same, as if I were a director, working with the same actors and sets, but the plot was entirely new. After that came revisions, because my editor and I are a matched pair of perfectionists. It will be released almost a year after it was finally declared finished.
That was my road to Seraphina, nine years altogether. Aspiring writers, take heart! Your road will be different from mine, and it’s a road well worth taking even when it’s difficult.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina’s tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they’ve turned the final page.
* My review of Seraphina to be posted next week; keep an eye out for it *