Friday, February 27, 2015

Interview with Alethea Kontis


A themed tour with Prism Book Tours.


Dearest (Woodcutter Sisters, #3)Dearest
(Woodcutter Sisters, #3)
by Alethea Kontis
YA Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 320 Pages
February 3rd 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers

“A fabulous fairy-tale mashup that deserves hordes of avid readers. Absolutely delectable.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review of award-winning series debut Enchanted

Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this delightful third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sunday’s palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows he’s her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Friday’s unique magic somehow break the spell?

The Other Woodcutter Sisters Books
 Hero (Woodcutter Sisters #2)
Links for Enchanted

Alethea Kontis courtesy of Lumos Studio 2012
New York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, a fairy godmother, and a geek. She’s known for screwing up the alphabet, scolding vampire hunters, and ranting about fairy tales on YouTube.

Her published works include: The Wonderland Alphabet (with Janet K. Lee), Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome (with Janet K. Lee), the AlphaOops series (with Bob Kolar), the Woodcutter Sisters fairy tale series, and The Dark-Hunter Companion (with Sherrilyn Kenyon). Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a myriad of anthologies and magazines.

Her YA fairy tale novel, Enchanted, won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award in 2012 and the Garden State Teen Book Award i 2015. Enchanted was nominated for the Audie Award in 2013, and was selected for World Book Night in 2014. Both Enchanted and its sequel, Hero, were nominated for the Andre Norton Award.

Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea currently lives and writes in Florida, on the Space Coast. She makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie.

Check out Alethea's Road Tour HERE!


Tour-Wide Giveaway

3 Woodcutter Sisters Prize Packs (signed copies of Enchanted, Hero, & Dearest - US Only)
Ends March 8th



Follow the Tour
1 - Launch
2 - Lilac Reviews
3 - Special post @ Waterworld Mermaids
18 - Special post on Dear Teen Me

Prism Book Tours
 
Interview with the Author
 
1. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I first started writing when I was around 8 years old--I wrote poetry, because my favorite authors at the time were Lewis Carroll, Gelett Burgess, and Ogden Nash.
 
I started my first novel when I was eleven and revised it in high school. I made it to the penultimate chapter before I stopped, because I knew it wasn't good enough and I couldn't finish anything that wasn't perfect.
 
The first novel I finished was a YA horror called HAVEN, which I did for NaNoWriMo back in 2005. The original manuscript was only about 36,000 words...but at least I finished.
 
The novel I wrote after that was an expansion of a short story I had done for Realms of Fantasy magazine called "Sunday"...which eventually became Enchanted.
 
2. How did you choose the genre you write in?
 
The first book I published was a picture book. The second was a science fiction and fantasy anthology. The third was an encyclopedia of a popular paranormal romance series. The fourth was a book of personal essays about my life.
 
Nobody ever told me I had to write a certain thing, so I let my words take me wherever they want to go. My writing knows no genre, and I'm okay with that.
 
3. What author or books influenced you the most?
 
I made a list of the 21 books that have most influenced my writing, including Voltaire, Lewis Carroll, Jude Deveraux, and David Sedaris. You can read the list here: http://aletheakontis.com/2009/06/my-21-most-influential-books/
 
As for my career, the authors who have taught me and inspired me the most have been: Orson Scott Card, Andre Norton, Sherrilyn Kenyon, John Scalzi, and Mary Robinette Kowal.
 
4. Any writing rituals?
 
This is pretty much my writing ritual:
 
Step 1: Sit down with my laptop and a cup of coffee.
Step 2: Write until coffee gets cold.
Step 3: Heat up coffee in microwave.
 
Repeat.
 
5. What do you do when you're not writing?
 
WHATEVER I WANT. Isn't that the awesomest thing about being a grownup??? I like to dress up and film myself ranting about fairy tales and then post them on YouTube. I like to go fishing and shrimping with my dad. I like to watch the rocket launches at Cape Canaveral. I like to binge watch old episodes of TV shows I love, like Chuck and Gilmore Girls. I like to paint--I work mostly in acrylics, with some sort of collage aspect, like Janet Lee taught me. (I painted "The ream-Haired Girl" that appears at the top of my website.)
 
6. Any plans for future books you can share with us?
 
In the next six months, I will be publishing Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome (another illustrated collaboration with Janet K. Lee), Trixter (a Woodcutter novella), and a trilogy of short contemporary romance novels set in a small beach town in central Florida. I'm very excited about all of them!
 
 
Thank you, Alethea, for gracing us with your presence! And congratulations on the release of your new book!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Writer Struggles: You Know That Place...With That Thing?

We've all been there. All of us have had conversations where, at some point or another, we just didn't know what to say. Where our minds just keep grasping for something--someway to express what we're thinking. Because, more often than not, we NEED to say something. There's always something or other on our minds. But how to say it?

I think it's the same feeling writers get when we can't seem to pen the right words. What we write just doesn't seem to flow. We KNOW there's a better word to use in place of the one we've put. It's on the tip of the tongue, but we just can't think of it. Or our descriptions just aren't sufficient enough.

What does this mean for writers? What do we do when the best description we can come up with is "that place....with that thing..."

Well, first we usually bang our heads on the nearest hard surface...



And then we keep writing.

You don't stop a conversation with someone altogether just because you couldn't think of the right word, do you? It's same(for me at least) when I'm writing. I may not get it perfect sometimes. That's the struggle of every writer. But I understand that I have to keep at it. I may leave a few blank spaces or mistakes, but I can always go back and fix those later.

Just because you don't get it right the first time doesn't mean you're incompetent. It means you struggle, just like every other writer.

Tell me, do you overcome this problem differently? How?

(This was my first of a new feature called "Writer Struggles!" I wasn't sure at first whether to introduce the writing aspect of my life to my book blog, but hopefully it will work out. I also hope to host guest posts, where other writers can expound on their own struggles and how they overcome them. Please contact me if you want to participate!)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Love an Author Month - My Favorite Authors (Part 3)

Jill at Go Teen Writers wrote a post about Love an Author month and all the different ways we can help an author out. So, to show my love and appreciation for authors, I've decided to highlight some of my favorites in a series of posts.

In no particular order, some writers I adore...


Sherwood Smith. I'm ashamed to say that I have read only two books by this author, but to be fair, I've read them twice and will read them again! With over forty books published, Ms. Smith is a writer of fantasy, historical romance, and science fiction.

I recommend: Crown Duel

 
Melanie Dickerson. Now here's an author to feed a fairy tales obsession! Ms. Dickerson writes the sweetest YA fairy tale retellings, and I've read everything she's published so far.
 
 
 
Francine Rivers. This wonderful lady writes Biblical and Christian Historical Fiction. Every book of hers that I've read has had me glued to the page.
 
I recommend: A Voice in the Wind
 
 
Anne Elisabeth Stengl. I'm hooked on Ms. Stengl's YA Fantasy series, The Tales of Goldstone Wood. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll be able to get Starflower soon, but until then I'll just gush about her books to everyone else!
 
I recommend: Heartless
 
 
J.K. Rowling. Well, I couldn't NOT mention a writer of her brilliance. I will always, ALWAYS come back to the Harry Potter series, and I applaud Ms. Rowling for creating such a complex story children and adults alike can enjoy.
 


Check out these authors and their writing! And show some love for YOUR favorite authors by purchasing one of their books, writing a positive review, telling your friends about them, etc. Authors work extremely hard to create stories for us to enjoy. Let's show them how much we appreciate them this month!
 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Guest Post by Author Sharon V. King

Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm banner

Anaiah Press proudly presents
AGING GRACEFULLY WITH THE 23rd PSALM by Dr. Sharon V. King
a devotional available on February 17!

Can we talk about getting older? With another Baby Boomer turning 60 every 7.5 seconds, the “age wave” has captured the attention of such diverse fields as financial planning, cosmetics, medicine, and—religion. How does aging affect our spirituality? Does it deepen our relationship with God, or have decades of life’s roller coaster rides left us “spiritually challenged?” Life after 50 can be particularly challenging for women because of the personal, social, and physical changes that naturally occur as we age. A rich spiritual life can help 50+ women gain perspective about their aging process and seek God’s guidance as they encounter the changes, challenges, and opportunities of later life.  
 
Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm applies some of the best-loved verses in scripture to a reflective study of ways women can grow in grace as they grow in years. The book format provides reflections on themes of aging found in each verse of Psalm 23, such as facing forks in the road; making fresh starts; resolving past conflicts; coping with social, personal, and physical changes; navigating through emotional transitions; processing loss and grief; and end-of-life planning. Illustrations of each theme follow, using biblical examples, vignettes from the author’s personal aging journey, a Takeaway Message from each psalm verse, suggestions for group discussion topics, and a journaling exercise to help the reader write a “Prayer Memo” to the Good Shepherd of the 23rd Psalm.  


Get your own copy of Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm:

    


 
About the Author:
Dr. Sharon V. King


Sharon is a class of ’69 Baby Boomer, a native of Pennsylvania, and now resident of Georgia. The daughter of church musicians, she first worked as a music teacher and then turned her interests to writing about and working with older adults.A recently retired gerontology professor, Sharon now writes inspirational books and articles for 50+ women.


Connect with Sharon:
Website      Twitter
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

What were both some unexpected setbacks and rewards you encountered while writing your book?

Dr. King's response:

Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm was not one of those “written-in-one-sitting” books. I actually started working on it quite a few years ago. It has taken many twists and turns from the Easter Sunday when I decided to stop thinking about the book I wanted to write and to just start writing. At that time, I didn’t realize that it would take me years to finally say what I wanted to say the way I wanted to say it—and the way a publisher would accept it.

One of the reasons my writing process took so long is because when I first approached an agent about the book idea, all she told me was “No one wants to read another book about the Twenty-third Psalm.” That one statement was enough to make me shelve my manuscript for a long time. Like many writers, a negative critique deflated my hopes for my book. But even a setback can be a step forward in disguise. Due to the cool reception my book received from the agent, I set it aside and worked on another manuscript with a similar theme of faith and aging for Baby Boomer women. The manuscript turned out to be my first book, The Spiritual Fitness Check-up for the 50-something Woman.

I submitted that manuscript directly to a Christian publisher (bypassing the agent process), who readily accepted it. Buoyed by the positive response to that book, I decided to ignore the earlier rejection and move forward with my “23rd Psalm” book. I did utilize some of the constructive criticism I received from the first agent, including shortening the book—“short and to the point” versus “drawn out and preachy.” I revised the manuscript several times over a period of about six years. Not wanting to rush the process, I adopted an attitude of patience toward getting the book ready to submit to publishers. I found that if I let the manuscript “percolate” for several months and revisited it later, I came back to the writing with a fresher perspective.

Another benefit to taking the slow approach to finishing my book was the progression of my own aging process. Since the topic of the book was faith and aging, the only way I could share any realistic insights was to age myself, drawing on my faith in God’s grace. In the 12 years since I first formed the idea for the book until its publication this year, I faced quite a few changes and challenges related to getting older, including career changes, the death of loved ones, health complications, and retirement planning. Through all of it, God showed me His faithfulness and helped me grow in my understanding of the value of Christian faith. Each time I returned to the book to revise it, I brought to it new insights and experiences to help personalize the writing and add encouragement for others living into their 50+ years.

Although I target a 50+ female audience, men and younger persons also may find the book useful and inspirational as they watch their years come and go. I invite anyone who wants to age gracefully (full of God’s grace) to read Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm. May it be a blessing to you no matter what your age.



Review Tour - Dead of Night by Carlyle Labuschagne



 Title: Dead of Night
Author: Carlyle Labuschagne
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Romance
Expected Release Date: October 2014
Publisher:
Hallowed Ink Press
 

Blurb: In a dark and desolated After Earth, love still does exist, but the cost of bearing such a flaw is death.


World War III has left Earth in utter turmoil. People’s beliefs are said to be the cause of the worldwide destruction. After The Clearing new laws are set about - to show certitude in anything besides the law is weak and chargeable as mutiny. To be illogical and have faith in religion is illegal, to be limitless is dangerous. And Illness is seen as a defect – all flaws that are inexcusable.


But to love is the greatest betrayal of all mankind. It is a fault the world has long forgotten and punishable by death, a fatal risk Aecker and Opel are fully prepared to take - because in love there is freedom. But how far can they push back before it claims their lives and of those they care about?



Author Bio:Carlyle Labuschagne is a South African award winning author working her way into the hearts of international readers with her first two books in the Broken Trilogy. Her first young adult dystopian novel "The Broken Destiny" reached top 3 in its YA debut Category. The Sequel Evanescent won YATR literary award for best Sci-Fi book 2013. 

Her become a published author programme for students launched Feb 2014. 

She is not only an author, but works as a marketing manager by day. She holds a diploma in creative writing through the writing school at College SA. 

Carlyle loves to swim, fights for the trees, and is a food lover who is driven by her passion for life. Carlyle also writes for IU e-magazine India, an inspirational non-profit magazine that aims at inspiring the world through words. The drive behind her author career is healing through words. Carlyle is also the founder of the first annual book drive – Help Build A Library in Africa Project. And hopes to launch her very own Indie book festival in Johannesburg March 2015.

“My goal as an author is to touch people’s lives, and help others love their differences and one another.”

Author Links:



Goodreads * Facebook * Web * Twitter

My review:

Dead of Night started off on an interesting note. Our main character is attacked, rescued, and wakes up with little memories, not even remembering the connection she has with her rescuer.
 
Oh, but she feels it. Opel, as she chooses to call herself, feels an immediate attraction to the boy whose face she wakes up to. Aecker, he's called. Oh, and they're in love.
 
Okay, okay. It didn't happen as fast as all that. But is WAS one the worst cases of insta-love(*cough* lust*cough*) I've read. It was weird, mainly because the attraction was between two characters I didn't know yet, and they didn't even really know each other. That was  probably my biggest pet peeve with this book. I just didn't feel any genuine love between the characters, even though LOVE plays a huge part in this story.
 
I did like the characters. I thought each and every one introduced through the course of the story was interesting. I do wish the author would gone more in depth with her characters, though. I never really got a good sense of who any of them, major or minor, really were. But some of them intrigued me.
 
I will say that the writing was beautiful. That's what drew me in, in the first place. There could have been more dialogue, but the descriptions were so well written, and the writing was gorgeous at times. The only thing about it that really nagged me was that it wasn't suspenseful enough. And it really should have been.
 
I mean, we have a girl who wakes up without her memory, and finds herself alone with two guys. One who thinks he's in love with her, and one who wants to kick her out. Why does he want to kick her out? Because he thinks she's a Tracker.
 
What's that, you ask? Trackers are cultivated hunters, coded with perfect DNA, that want nothing more than to complete their mission: kill the Inborns. But wait, what's an Inborn? Basically, they're outlaws. Well, the people Opel wakes up with are the outlawed. And none too happy that she's there.
 
So what does she do? You'll have to read it to find out. Personally, I wasn't too happy with the way things turned out. I love the premise, but I just wasn't made to care enough about what happened to everybody.
 
I hate be such a downer, especially for a review tour, but this just wasn't my taste.
 
Content: Several uses of profanity, implied homosexuality, innuendo. I wouldn't classify it as clean; some things just left a bad taste in my mouth.
 
**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fan Month: It's Not About Me

 
Hosted by Heather @ Sometimes I'm a Story. If you want to participate you can head on over there to link up!

Fan month(March) is about forgetting about yourself for a little while, and being a fan to someone else. Like Heather, I am going to be missing for one week in March because I want to be a good fan, rather than focus solely on my own blog.

1. When do you plan on being a fan?

For one week in March. I haven't decided which week yet....

2. What goals will you set for yourself?

I don't have any really concrete goals. I want to focus on commenting on others' blogs, sharing their posts, etc. Maybe even looking for new blogs to follow. :)

3. Are you going to set any rules for yourself? Exceptions to those rules?

No. No rules. I don't like rules.

4. Where do you plan on sharing the great posts you read?

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+. Even on my own blog. So I guess you will be seeing some of me, just not promoting my own content.

5. Where could you be a fan outside the blogosphere?

Hmm. Does fangirling count? If that's the case, then EVERYWHERE.










That's it, folks! Now, go check out Heather's post and enter her GIVEAWAY!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Review - Breaking Ties

Breaking Ties
Breaking Ties by Jo Grafford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genres: Historical Fiction; Romance
Pages: 404

A cursed island, a chilling conspiracy, an unforgettable love story...

Rose Payne’s world is left in tatters after a disastrous betrothal, making her an easy target for recruiters to the Colonies. Using every cent she has, Rose sails for the New World and a fresh start, vowing to never again fall for a wealthy man.

Returning from a diplomatic tour in London, Chief Manteo is bewitched by the fiery-haired ship’s clerk and determined to overcome her distrust. He contrives a daring plan to win her heart – one that forces her, honor bound, to serve as a slave to his tribe – a plan he prays will protect her from a chilling conspiracy involving murder, blood money, and a betrayal of their fledgling colony so terrifying it can only be revealed in Breaking Ties.

My review: Expectations. Met.

Breaking Ties was just as good as its sequel, Trail of Crosses, which was one of my favorites of last year. Yes, I read them out of order, but both books can stand alone. I really enjoyed going "back in time," if you will, to experience what happened to characters mentioned in Trail of Crosses, and especially loved seeing Jane through Rose's eyes.

I loved the characters, especially Rose. So glad the author is continuing this series!

This story pulled me in and wouldn't let me go. Recommended for lovers of Historical Romance.

Content: Mild innuendo. Recommended for girls 14+.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Love an Author Month - My Favorite Authors (Part 2)

Jill at Go Teen Writers wrote a post about Love an Author month and all the different ways we can help an author out. So, to show my love and appreciation for authors, I've decided to highlight some of my favorites in a series of posts.

In no particular order, some writers I adore...

 
Jill Williamson. This should be NO secret. Last year I read Mrs. Williamson's Safe Lands trilogy and was absolutely blown away. If you like Science Fiction or Fantasy, give her a look!
 
I recommend: Captives
 
 
 
Clare B. Dunkle. Again, I've only read one series by this author, but that was enough to bump Ms. Dunkle up to the list of favorites. Her young adult Hollow Kingdom Trilogy was magical, quirky, and just plain brilliant. It is thanks to these books that I now know that "forks are absurd. They insult your food. They make it think you're killing it twice!"
 
I recommend: The Hollow Kingdom
 
 
Steven James. The brilliant and best selling author of the Patrick Bowers and Jevin Banks thriller series. A word of caution--only proceed to read his books if you wish your mind to be BLOWN. I'm talking high scale explosion here. 
 
I recommend: The Pawn
 
Lisa Tawn Bergren. Author of my beloved copies of the River of Time series. Ms. Bergren has dabbled in Adult and YA Christian fiction. Both Historical and Contemporary, I believe.
 
I recommend: Waterfall

Check out these authors and their writing! And show some love for YOUR favorite authors by purchasing one of their books, writing a positive review, telling your friends about them, etc. Authors work extremely hard to create stories for us to enjoy. Let's show them how much we appreciate them this month!
 
Read My Favorite Authors (Part 1)!
And keep watch for Part 3.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - The Forgotten Sisters

Hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.
Image & Description from Goodreads.com
The Forgotten Sisters (Princess Academy #3) by Shannon Hale
 
After a year at the king's palace, Miri has learned all about being a proper princess. But the tables turn when the student must become the teacher!

Instead of returning to her beloved Mount Eskel, Miri is ordered to journey to a distant swamp and start a princess academy for three sisters, cousins of the royal family. Unfortunately, Astrid, Felissa, and Sus are more interested in hunting and fishing than becoming princesses.

As Miri spends more time with the sisters, she realizes the king and queen's interest in them hides a long-buried secret. She must rely on her own strength and intelligence to unravel the mystery, protect the girls, complete her assignment, and finally make her way home.

Fans of Shannon Hale won't want to miss this gorgeously woven return to this best-selling, Newbery Honor-winning series.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm - Release Day Blitz

Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm banner

Anaiah Press proudly presents
AGING GRACEFULLY WITH THE 23rd PSALM by Dr. Sharon V. King
a devotional that releases today!


Can we talk about getting older? With another Baby Boomer turning 60 every 7.5 seconds, the “age wave” has captured the attention of such diverse fields as financial planning, cosmetics, medicine, and—religion. How does aging affect our spirituality? Does it deepen our relationship with God, or have decades of life’s roller coaster rides left us “spiritually challenged?” Life after 50 can be particularly challenging for women because of the personal, social, and physical changes that naturally occur as we age. A rich spiritual life can help 50+ women gain perspective about their aging process and seek God’s guidance as they encounter the changes, challenges, and opportunities of later life.  
 
Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm applies some of the best-loved verses in scripture to a reflective study of ways women can grow in grace as they grow in years. The book format provides reflections on themes of aging found in each verse of Psalm 23, such as facing forks in the road; making fresh starts; resolving past conflicts; coping with social, personal, and physical changes; navigating through emotional transitions; processing loss and grief; and end-of-life planning. Illustrations of each theme follow, using biblical examples, vignettes from the author’s personal aging journey, a Takeaway Message from each psalm verse, suggestions for group discussion topics, and a journaling exercise to help the reader write a “Prayer Memo” to the Good Shepherd of the 23rd Psalm.  


 
Get your own copy of Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm:

    


 
About the Author:
Dr. Sharon V. King


Sharon is a class of ’69 Baby Boomer, a native of Pennsylvania, and now resident of Georgia. The daughter of church musicians, she first worked as a music teacher and then turned her interests to writing about and working with older adults.A recently retired gerontology professor, Sharon now writes inspirational books and articles for 50+ women.


Connect with Sharon:
Website      Twitter
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway  



Friday, February 13, 2015

Love an Author Month - My Favorite Authors (Part 1)

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Book_lover.jpg
Valentine's day is just around the corner, and everyone is thinking of what to do for the ones they love. I, for one, LOVE authors. And, what do you know, February also happens to be Love an Author Month! (Check out this post at Go Teen Writers if you don't believe me).

To show my love and appreciation for authors, I've decided to highlight some of my favorites in a series of posts.

In no particular order, here some authors you should love on:


I've been a Dekker fan for years. Having started with his young adult series, The Lost Books, I was immediately hooked. Since then I've read both his Thrillers and Fantasies, and I keep coming back to his books for their mind blowing plot twists.

I recommend: Black and Skin


Ms. Hale writes for adults, teens, and children, but I've come to love her for her YA Fantasy series, The Books of Bayern. I've read it several times for its lovable characters and creative world.

I recommend: The Goose Girl


She's written over 85 books for both adults and teens. My favorites of hers are her young adult books that explore the lives of your average Christian teenage girls.



I'll admit to only reading one series by Ms. Croggon, but I was absolutely blown away by it. That would be her YA High Fantasy series, The Books of Pellinor.

I recommend: The Naming
 
Check out these authors and their writing! And show some love for YOUR favorite authors by purchasing one of their books, writing a positive review, telling your friends about them, etc. Authors work extremely hard to create stories for us to enjoy. Let's show them how much we appreciate them this month!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Review - Weep in the Night

Weep in the NightWeep in the Night by Valerie Massey Goree
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Christian; Romantic Suspense
248 pages

She thought she was safe.

Since the tragic deaths of her husband and daughter three years ago, Sadie Malone's life has been relegated by the Witness Protection Program. Living under the radar may not be exciting, but it has its perks(well...perk). That is, no one can find her.

Or so she thought. When she meets Bowen Boudine, her heart may be in danger, yes. But what's worse, he knows her true identity. And he may not be the only one....

When Bowen tells her the reason he was sent to retrieve her, she doesn't know whether to trust him or not. But if she doesn't, she may meet the same fate as her family.

My review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a nice blend of suspense and romance, and it kept me guessing.

The romance was sweet, though at times it felt a bit cliché. But the characters were definitely to root for. Very likeable and relatable.

There were some points where the pacing could have been picked up, but overall the writing flowed well and the story kept me interested—I very much enjoyed it.

Weep in the Night kept me turning pages. Recommended for lovers of Romantic Suspense!

Content: Christian themes; mild violence; some kissing and embracing; Clean!

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

View all my reviews

Author's Facebook / Amazon Link ($2.99 Kindle)

Readalikes: Sabotaged

Friday, February 6, 2015

Review - Wildwood Dancing

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
Genres: Fantasy; Fairy Tale; Romance; YA
My rating: 5 stars
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.09 stars
Pages: 407

This book counts toward my goal for The Fairy Tale Challenge!

Image from Goodreads.com

Five adventurous sisters...
 
Four dark creatures...
 
Three magical gifts...
 
Two forbidden lovers...
 
One enchanted frog...

For nine years Jena, her sisters, and her beloved enchanted frog have visited the Other Kingdom. Disappearing through a portal in their bedchamber, never have they felt any sense of danger—until the Night People arrived.

 
Terrible rumors surround these creatures, and are given all the more credit when their arrival wreaks havoc in both worlds. But the Night People aren't the only ones spelling danger. When the girls' father goes away, their cousin Cezar arrives to help the girls—but Jena's afraid that he's doing more harm than good.

Feeling the heavy weight of responsibilities thrust upon her all at once, Jena has many decisions to make. Can she trust Cezar? The Night People? Her insticts tell her no.

What it really boils down to, is can she protect her family, her world, and the Other Kingdom from disaster?
 
My review: This is not your average fairy tale. Aside from the enchanted frog, it's a far cry from your favorite Disney Princess movie. Of course, as much as I love Disney, that's a good thing!

In Wildwood Dancing, Marillier spins together two familiar tales—The Frog Prince and The Twelve Dancing Princesses—while giving them original twists.

In the Author's Note, Marillier explains some about Transylvanian mythology, which plays an instrumental part in the book. She did a very good job at avoiding stereoypes, especially with the villains(that's Night People, NOT vampires, mind you!), and I really appreciate the authentic feel her research brought to the book.
 
The five stars pretty much lay it out for you. I loved this novel. The romance was sweet; the villains suitably distasteful. At first I wasn't sure whether or not to like the controlling cousin, Cezar(Cheh-zahr). One moment I was thinking of how he could be redeemed; the other I was hating his guts. Although, as much as I liked him as a potential “bad guy,” I do wish there would have been more of a spotlight on the Night People, particularly Tadeusz and his...er...sister? Still not clear on that....
 
If you're reading this on Goodreads, you might be wondering about that first part of my review. About me disliking the first page? Well, I was serious! It was a bunch of names. Tedious and confusing. Though I must say, technically it was only half a page and, obviously, it picked up for me after that. The names really aren't at all confusing to keep up with(although you may have trouble pronouncing some of them—there is a pronunciation guide). I just wish they weren't all dumped into that first paragraph.
 
Enough of that. This is a positive review! Now go read this book! I really do highly recommend it. Especially for lovers of fantasy and fairy tales, and young adults. But don't be put off if you don't normally read YA. You might be surprised by how well written and unique this novel is.
 
Lastly, the cover art. It's beautiful.

Content: Clean!

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