Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE PORTAL by Caren J Werlinger #YA #Fantasy #Irish

Today’s team review is from Barb, she blogs at http://barbtaub.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Barb has been reading The Portal by Caren J Werlinger

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Like many ancient societies, early Ireland has a rich history of what we’d call magic and fantasy. From our modern viewpoint, we may find it hard to believe that so much of their society was influenced by the belief that supernatural forces controlled and influenced almost every aspect of their lives. Only…what if that was exactly what was happening? What if there were people with special gifts, trained and honed over a lifetime to wield tools we can’t understand? What happens when that supernaturally-based belief system crashes against the equally supernaturally-based system propagated by Christian missionaries?

This conflict forms the basis for Caren J. Werlinger’s Dragonmage series. Set in an ancient Ireland steeped in magic traditions, it tells the story of a young girl who is the one chosen to fill ancient prophecies while her entire world is crashing against the rapidly spreading new Christian beliefs.

This is the second book in the series, and —while the story arc can stand alone—to really understand the large cast of characters, it would be helpful to read Ash’s story in Book 1 first. Adopted by badgers (badgers!) as an infant after her village is destroyed by invaders, Ash survives because of her ability to communicate with animals. Although discovered and accepted as apprentice by mages, Ash and her new friends’ existence is threatened by the increasing influence of the Christianity introduced to Ireland by Saint Patrick in the fifth century.

Bonded with the baby dragon Péist, Ash receives her true name—Caymin—and discovers  her destiny as a dragonmage, one chosen to travel through a time Portal to save other mages and their dragons, prevent a horrific war, and keep the spreading Christians from destroying Ireland’s magic heritage. But Caymin is torn between accepting her role as the one chosen to save her world, and the certainty that doing so will cost everything she holds most dear.

In a way, it’s like reading stories about the Titanic, because we already know how the tragedy plays out. But author Caren Werlinger continues to balance delicately  between the magic lore taught and practiced by her fictional mages and the reality that we know the Christians were eventually successful.

As with Book One, the world building is wonderful. Not only do we get the strong sense of the realities of everyday life, but we also see the lure of the “what if”. Caymin and Péist each must consider whether their task really justifies the personal toll. This plays out in a very real sense, as Caymin is offered the ultimate “what if”—the chance to grow up with her family, to see them alive and happy instead of murdered when she was a baby. But everything comes at a price, and the cost for that one is a life lived without the magic and the defining bond with her dragon. Both the young mage and her dragon face trials as this version of the classic hero’s quest sets their coming of age crucibles against a backdrop of a world we as readers know will change despite them.

It’s always tough to create a believable middle book in a series arc, but Caren Werlinger succeeds brilliantly. The story arc takes Caymin and Péist both through adventures and through moral dilemmas, resolving them while still leaving enough threads open and a developing crisis to take us to the next book. I enjoyed the way Caymin’s character develops and grows, even as the slightly more alien dragon also tries to find his path as he matures. Caymin’s confusion about her attraction to another girl is sensitively and beautifully handled, fitting well into the context of the strong women who have guided her.

I wouldn’t hesitate to give The Portal five stars, and recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA fantasy, adventure, and coming of age stories. And I can’t wait for the next book in this terrific series.

Book Description

The Dragonmage Saga continues as Caymin and Péist return to Ireland. Together, mage and dragon seek allies to try and stop a pending war with a fanatical monk determined to rid Éire of magic. But the spreading tide of Christianity isn’t the only threat. An ancient evil – one that dates back to the last dragon war a thousand winters ago – threatens the present. The Portal into the otherworld is the only way to the past, but the otherworld is the realm of the gods and goddesses and other creatures of the old stories, and it is not forgiving to those who do not belong. Caymin and Péist soon learn that, in the otherworld, the deepest desires of their hearts become traps. While there, the young dragonmage and her dragon realize they are pawns in a struggle for power that was set in motion long before they were born. Even those they trust have been using them. Only through their bond with each other can they hope to survive to the trials awaiting them and find their way back through the Portal to this realm. But returning may not be an option if they have to sacrifice all to bring peace to a world that no longer holds a place for dragons and mages. Book Two in The Dragonmage Saga

About the author

Caren J. Werlinger

From the author’s website: I was raised in Ohio, the oldest of four children. Much of my childhood was spent reading everything I could get my hands on, and writing my own variations on many of those stories where I could play the hero, rescuing the girl and winning her love. Then I grew up and went to college where I completed a degree in foreign languages and later another in physical therapy where for many years, my only writing was research-based, including a very dry therapeutic exercise textbook. 

In the mid-nineties, I began writing creatively again and re-discovered how much fun it is. My first novel, Looking Through Windows, was published in 2008 and won a GCLS award for Debut Author. In 2012, I decided to begin publishing my own books under my imprint, Corgyn Publishing. Corgyn’s first release, Miserere, followed in late 2012 to excellent reviews.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE MAGICIAN’S WORKSHOP by @HansenFehr #YA #Fantasy

Today’s Team review is from Jessie, she blogs at http://behindthewillows.com

#RBRT Review Team

Jessie has been reading The Magician’s Workshop by Christopher Hansen and J.R Fehr.

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Having loved fantasy for many years I’m often startled by people who complain about books that dump them into a new world without explaining things. Personally, jumping headfirst into a new mysterious world is one of my favorite ways to start a book.  But the authors of The Magician’s Workshop understand that not everyone (particularly young readers) may enjoy such a thing.  So they start with a bit of a disclaimer as the preface, likening trying a new book to starting summer camp. It might seem scary and uncertain, and you might not know if you’ll like it but you should try it because chances are good you will love it!

Sadly, no doubt because Mom suggested she read it, it didn’t sway my daughter.

Which is too bad because, for a young girl who likes reading books with magic in them, I still think she’d like this one.

The Magician’s Workshop dumps you straight into a pile of characters living in their crazy island world where everyone can work magic. And as the characters go about life projecting magic images, flavors and smells, the authors slowly start to introduce some of the difficulties that come in such a fantastical world. What do you think? Would you bother eating real fruit if you could eat something that tasted like fruit instead?

Would I recommend it? For a magic loving pre-teen/teen audience these books could be just the ticket. And, although I have no credentials to back it up, (remember me? I’m a woman with three daughters) I think that boys would really like these books too.  Fair warning, as it says in the beginning, this is the first of a series of books that is more like a television series. Which is true, at the end there is no real conclusion or even a cliff hanger, just a fade out until you start the next book (which is okay because volume two is available on Amazon already!).

Book Description

Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop. 

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.

About the authors

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The first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday. “Christopher!” cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.” Full of expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic, prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now he’s chosen to write stories about it.

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When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible.

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Guardians Of The Dead by S.L. Wilson @ShelleyWilson72

Today’s book review comes from team member Barb, she blogs at http://barbtaub.com/

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Barb chose to read and review Guardians Of The Dead by S.L. Wilson

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My Review: 4  stars out of 5

Shelley Wilson, best-selling author of self-help/motivational titles such as How I Changed My Life In a Year: One Woman’s Mission To Lose Weight, Get Fit, Beat Her Demons, And Find Happiness …In Twelve Easy Steps! has just released her first novel, the YA fantasy, Guardians of the Dead (Book 1 in her Guardians series).

In this magical-girl coming-of-age story, Wilson pays often-loving tribute to almost every trope I associate with the genre:

  • The Chosen One: Reluctant heroine sixteen-year-old Amber Noble inherits a destiny that is both an ancient inheritance and the result of her parents’ mysterious other traits.
  • Turn Sixteen, Hello Hell: Like teen heroes from Harry to Buffy, when we meet her, Amber is a typical high-school girl with parent issues (her father is distant, and her stepmother is literally from hell). She stumbles along until she turns sixteen, when her powers are triggered by a magical encounter in a graveyard.
  • Muggle Best Friend: Amber’s adorable best friend Tom has always been there for her. So when she tells him about her little problem with seeing graveyard demons killing and/or kidnapping her classmates, Tom introduces her to India, a Wiccan bookstore owner and practicing witch—and also to India’s sexy, half-fae nephew Connor. And that’s where things get weird. Tom disappears, Connor and Amber set out to rescue him from hell—or at least from Phelan, its really scary hellmouth equivalent. Phelan is ruled and guarded by the appropriately named Guardians of the Dead under the rule of villainous General Loso.
  • Fairy tale elements. Every magical girl story from Bewitched to Buffy draws on a rich fairy and folk tale tradition. Author Shelley Wilson has done her homework, and she pretty much nails these:
  1. Evil Stepmom (ESM): When Amber’s mother disappeared ten years earlier, her father lost no time in remarrying. Her new stepmother, Patricia, is just about the scariest ESM ever—“Her perfectly groomed hair was scooped into a flamboyant updo; she wore a pink Juicy Couture tracksuit with matching manicure and pedicure, and was smirking.” Not content with the despicable matching mani/pedi, Patricia has arranged the modern equivalent of dumping Amber in the woods near the witch’s cottage: a summer job at a local beauty spa. Truly, her evil knows no bounds.
  2. Fairy Godmother: Amber discovers that she has an ancestor who shows up to provide answers and support at key moments. In true fairy tale mode, those answers usually boil down to “the magic is in you”, allowing Amber to tap into various lifesaving magic tools just when she needs them the most.
  3. Fairy Companion: Here’s where things get interesting. Phelan has some seriously scary occupants, but overall it seems surprisingly beautiful—especially, when they meet gorgeous teenaged fae prince Redka.
  • Magical Plot Coupon: Amber and her friends will have to acquire a magical item from General Losa which will allow them to return home, and rescue…well, everyone. That’s the easy part. The hard part is dealing with her attraction to both Connor and Redka. Sometimes it’s just so hard to be a gorgeous, sixteen-year-old chosen nonhuman heroine with hormones and parental issues.

Guardians of the Dead is a fast-paced, breezy read. Amber is an occasionally snarky but (also occasionally) kickass heroine. It’s completely unlike me to say this, but I’d like to have seen it go a bit darker and lots longer. There are hints that aren’t developed. For example, General Losa has imprisoned Redka’s mother, a beautiful fairy queen. At first it’s just because he wants her to make him immortal, but we’re told that he falls in love with her. I’d like to have seen some evidence of that, some inner conflict that is perhaps a step away from the black-and-white of good vs evil. Also, there just isn’t time to develop the emotional side of the love triangle, so we have to accept Amber’s word for her overwhelming attraction to both Connor and Redka.

A big part of every girl’s story is her relationship with her mother. But Amber never seems more than slightly annoyed about being abandoned by a mother who seems perfectly willing to consider others’ needs as more important than those of her own daughter. Finally, for a coming-of-age story, there isn’t much character development or growth. Amber does change a bit, mostly through the acquisition of conveniently useful magical gifts. Tom shows signs of stepping up his role from adorable to kickass wannabe sidekick, as does Connor. Sadly, Redka remains cardboard thin, as do the fairy queen and assorted parents.

BUT (and this is what brings this story up from three to four stars) Wilson does a very good job of giving this story arc its own ending, while still leaving plenty of loose threads to tie up in future instalments. I’d give this little book an enthusiastic four stars, and say that I’m looking forward to seeing growth in future volumes.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Deceived by L.A Starkey

Deceived, (Soul Keeper Series I)Deceived, by L.A. Starkey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Deceived is a YA fantasy and the first book in a series. Sam and Julie are best friends and live in Manchester, New Hampshire. They are Juniors at High School. The book opens with a very vivid dream scene for Sam, she’s in a dream meeting a boy she has met in many of her life-times, yet she doesn’t remember him. He has to suffer the pain of her leaving him once more. Yet Sam hears another voice calling her too.

Sam and Julie are both adopted, they were at the same orphanage and became firm friends and stayed friends after their separate adoptions. At school Sam is very athletic, not usually one to chase the boys, she can’t help it when her hormones are attracted to Ken, although her head knows he can be a serial player, her heart wants some fun. A history project on the ancient Greeks has Sam borrowing a strange book from the library called “The Soul Keeper”.

Nick and Marcus are brothers, Grandsons of Zeus, to them Sam is their Dream-catcher and they vie for her attention in her dreams. Yet they are all destined to be players in a much larger fight. A prophecy is about to be opened by the Time Guardian, Nick and Marcus have been waiting for their destiny to unfold for hundred of years.

I read this book in one day because it kept me so engaged with the story that I didn’t want to put it down. There’s lots going on in the story, but it all flows really well and I like books with the ancient Gods and mythology of any nation. I would definitely pick up the next book in the series, I am dying to know what happens to them all.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Crystin reviews The Unicorn Girl by M.L.LeGette

Today we have a review from Book Review Team Member Crystin, she blogs at http://crystinlgoodwin.wordpress.com/book-reviews/

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Crystin chose to read and review The Unicorn Girl by M.L. LeGette.

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Here is Crystin’s review.

Title: The Unicorn Girl by M. L. Legette

  • Genre: YA Fantasy

 

Leah Vindral isn’t like other girls. She can’t sew, pour tea, or dance – but she can ride like the wind. She doesn’t look like a lady either with her pale skin, dark hair, and large green eyes. But after magic saves her from death, all of that changes. Suddenly she’s beautiful – eerily so. The magic that cured her leaves an obvious mark – and now people she’s known her entire life, the people she loves most, are afraid of her. Then there are the rumors that say her sudden recovery has something to do with unicorns …

The Unicorn Girl is a lovely coming of age fantasy. In addition to the spunky Leah, the novel is full of intriguing characters, including Leah’s father and Lorna – a witch who used to know her mother. There are lords and ladies, kings and princes, elves and unicorns … really, what more could you possibly need in a fantasy?!

The story itself gently and slowly draws you in – then the urgency of the story explodes in your face. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, in fact it’s absolutely wonderful! I love it when I get sucked into a new world – I just want to warn you to start this book with plenty of time left in your day, because otherwise you’ll find it’s already two o’clock in the morning – but you can’t stop yet because you need to know what happens next. At least, that’s what happened to me.

I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, especially if you’re a fan of unicorns or horses. If you tend to like young adult novels, then even better!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Karen reviews The Unicorn Girl by M.L. LeGette

Today we have a review from Book Review Team member Karen, she blogs at http://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com/

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Karen chose to read The Unicorn Girl by M.L. LeGette

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Here is Karen’s review.

The book introduces you to Leah Vindral, growing up motherless at Willow Manor. Her days are filled with learning – thanks to her demanding governess, Miss Perish. Her daily highlight is mounting her mare Iris. After recovering from an illness, everything is different, and she decides to flee. I will not tell you more about the story than shown in the Goodreads plot description. This would spoil the fun of reading this book yourself.

With The Unicorn Girl, M.L. LeGette has created a wonderful YA fantasy and/or coming of age story. Throughout her endeavour, you can ‘watch’ Leah develop from a whiny little girl to a young woman who makes her own decisions. The Unicorn Girl is a really entertaining and fast-paced read. I was drawn into the story right away. I felt quite close to the characters and their experiences. All characters were believable, still leaving room for the readers’ imagination. The Unicorn Girl is a great story not only for YA fantasy lovers – a truly enjoyable read.

This is a book to read again.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT – Dani reviews The Unicorn Girl by ML LeGette

Rosie’s Book Review Team reviewer Dani brings us today’s review. She blogs at http://onlybooksandhorses.wordpress.com

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Dani chose “The Unicorn Girl” by M.L. LeGette

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Here is Dani’s review.

This YA fantasy novel follows the story of Leah, who is marked by the very magic that everyone fears. It saves her life, but sparks a series of events that are far out of her control and even further out of her comfort zone.

It’s got such a fantastic plot; the book is exciting and relentless in its pacing. The visual story-telling just begs for a film adaptation (which I would be the first in line to go and see, by the way.) The simplicity and action orientation means that this book is perfect for a young person just getting into reading; I’ll definitely be recommending it to any friends that have yet to fully experience the magic of books.

My only complaints about the book were requests for more; some huge decisions were perhaps a little rushed, and left with gaps in the explanations; there was a lack of non-action-based conversation (I’d have loved to see Lavena and Leah bond more); and I’d have really liked to see more of the unicorns.

That said, I loved pretty much everything that was put in – Ms LeGette creates some adorable characters (yes you, Ian), and she injects the story with flashes of humour and wisdom. Leah is a great protagonist: relateable, well-developed and a real pleasure to read about.

The plot was at times cliche and a little predictable, but I felt that these things were forgivable because it gave the story the feel of a fairy-tale.

In all, this book was fast-paced, clean and magical with a genuinely enjoyable story-line and the perfect premise to appeal to young readers (myself included).

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Spirit Warriors: The Scarring by D.E.L. Connor July 21st

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The Scarring (Spirit Warriors #2)

by D.E.L. Connor

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Booktrope

Published: July 21, 2014

Length: 244 pages

Spirit Warriors The Scarring

Blurb:

“One of us would finally end what had been started by the machayiwiw so many years ago. I would have to kill him. It was just that simple. I never thought I would want to kill anybody or anything, but maybe I never had anything worth killing for before.”

-Emmeline Rima Belrose, The Scarring (Spirit Warriors, Book 2)
In the majestic beauty of a Montana summer, Emme and her friends celebrate her near-drowning survival and their defeat of the powerful evil spirit, the machayiwiw. But even as they rejoice, things are amiss. Emme watches helplessly as her family divides, and her friends struggle to hold their relationship together. Worse yet, the love-of-her life, Charlie, announces that he will move back to the reservation, without Emme. Different nightmares take over and Emme realizes she must fight and kill—or watch those she loves be killed. Friends from the reservation reach out to Emme and show her what evil can steal from her. Emme believes that evil can never break her bond with the Spirit Warriors or the love she shares with Charlie. Or can it?
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Although this is the second book in the Spirit Warriors series, it can be read as a stand alone novel.
Excerpt

I looked back at him. “I finally figured out that Golden Flower gifted me with the ability to talk to and control animals.” I smiled questioningly at Charlie.

 

Charlie didn’t smile back. “What else have you done?” I told Charlie about Ollie and the church and the birds. Charlie paced around me. “This is not good. The machayiwiw will notice a display like the one you did in town. You must not ever do it again in a public place where others can see you. Do you understand me?” I nodded with my head down. Charlie leaned forward and grabbed my face between his warm hands. “I have to admit that it was an awesome thing to do for Ollie, but we have to be more careful.”

 

I laid my hands over his by my face. I leaned into this chest as he slowly lowered us to the ground. We laid on the ground facing each other. I stared into his eyes lost in his world. Charlie stared back at me and as the beautiful empty world and the warm wind eavesdropped on us, we talked. I told him about Bets, and Mom and Ben, and how hurt Ollie was at the church. I told him about Jack and the preserve and Rose and the baby. We talked laying down and facing each other with our fingers intertwined until the sun started its slow climb to the edge of darkness. The sky was an incredible shade of deep purple with shades of violet blue. Even in the beauty of the sunset, I felt the desperation creep over me. I started to shake. I didn’t want to leave Charlie. I never wanted to leave Charlie. Charlie leaned closer. I could feel his breath on my cheek. He laid his gentle brown hands on my cheeks. I closed my eyes. “Let me take the pain away,” he whispered. We stood up.

 

Charlie closed his eyes and he chanted in a low voice. I listened to his voice. I closed my eyes and leaned into Charlie. I laid my head on his chest and listened to his heartbeat. I felt the desperation leave me and I was filled with a sense of peace and serenity. My breathing slowed, and my mind was filled with the beautiful times that Charlie and I had shared. We were like one in my mind, our thoughts joined and our spirits connected. It was the most incredible intense feeling. It was what I imagined making love would be like. I felt dizzy and my body felt it was on fire from the inside out. My legs gave way and I dropped to my knees. Charlie grabbed me and slowly lowered me down to the ground. “What did you do?” I asked Charlie. He stared back at me. “I showed you our love. I showed you what is worth fighting and dying for.”

As Charlie stood up, he staggered. I reached out and held his arm. “Are you okay?” Charlie put his hand over mine that rested on his arm. “Just tired. You wear me out.” He grinned broadly as I swatted his arm. “Poor me,” I told him. We held hands as we headed back to the main buildings.

 

Ollie and Jack were standing outside of the meeting room talking to Ryan and Hawke. Ryan looked up as we approached. “Hey, Em, can you come back next week? I want to run in the hills with you, and Hawke needs to start working with you on knife and lance throwing.” “Sure thing,” I told him. Hawke looked at Charlie and then at me. Charlie was leaning on the car while he talked to Jack. Charlie’s face was pale. Hawke walked the short distance to me and whispered in my ear. “Every time Charlie carries your pain, he gets weaker. Every time you feel better in Charlie’s presence, he pays the price for it. Is that what you want for him?” I shook my head “No.” I looked at my feet as Hawke said, “Don’t come back here. Walk away. His burden is too big to carry.” I shook my head. “I’m sorry I can’t do that. I just can’t. I love him too much.” Hawke shook his head and walked away.

We all walked to the car. I held Charlie’s hand as long as I could. I climbed in the back seat and Jack and Ollie sat down in the Mustang. As we drove off, I turned around and stared back at Charlie. He stood there watching us drive off.

 

An Interview with Author D.E.L. Connor

What was your favorite book growing up?
When I was old enough to read it was the Little House on the Prairie series. I must have read and reread each of them a hundred times. I honestly thought I was Laura Ingalls Wilder. Most girls my age were into dolls and while I liked dolls and playing house, my version of playing house always had a log house and a covered wagon. They are still my favorite books to read to children. Can’t you just picture yourself on a hot summer day bouncing along in the back of the covered wagon?
Who is your favorite author (living or dead)?
I have more than one. Obviously I love Laura Ingalls Wilder, but I am also a huge fan of Larry McMurray. I grew up admiring strong women writers like Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee and more recently J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyers.
What inspired you to write the Spirit Warriors series?
Actually is has been a long time coming. I wrote the short story that the Spirt Warriors evolved from in college may years ago. The professor asked me to stay after class and he told me how good it was, but unfortunately, it was too dark to be a children’s story. I put it away and went on with my career as a nurse. Finally J.K Rowling and Stephenie Meyers came out with new dark tales and the young adult market was born. The time was finally right! I finished Book 1 in two weeks. The struggle to get it published took more time, but here I am with two books in the story completed.
What character do you most identify with in Spirit Warriors: The Scarring?
Probably Lilly, I tend to be kind to a fault, and love my friends and family unconditionally. I think as a child I wished I could have been more like Bets and Emme. They are headstrong, brave and willing to fight for anything or anyone they cared about. I was shy when I was young, although no one believes that today! LOL
Can you tell us about your next project?
Why of course. I am about half way through book 3 in the series The Burning. There will be 6 books total in the series. Book 4 will be The Lamenting, Book 5 The Ensouling and then a Prequel to be named later. In between those books or after them I’m not sure which, I plan to write a new adult romance novel about loss and finding the chance to love again.

The Concealing (Spirit Warriors #1)

by D.E.L. Connor

Release Date: November 24, 2013

Length: 191 pages

Publisher: Booktrope

 

Spirit Warriors - The Concealing webready

Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Emme Belrose has it all: four best friends, a horse of her own, a hidden tepee hangout, and a blossoming romance with tall and handsome Charlie. These friends also have a secret. They can move their spirits into animal bodies: an osprey, a mustang, a grizzly, a mountain lion and a coyote.

 

But when Charlie, who has a gift for seeing the future, has a vision of Emme drowning in the icy Yellowstone River, the Spirit Warriors must train their animal bodies to kill an enemy they know is coming… but know nothing about. Suspenseful, romantic, and awash in Native American magic, Spirit Warriors captures the tragic enchantment of the American West—and confirms the power of friendship.

Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

DEL ConnorAbout the Author

Della was born in South Dakota and raised in the vastness and beauty of Montana on a farm. When she longed for the big city life, she moved to Texas where she attended college and received a PhD in nursing. When not nursing people back to health you can find Della huddled over her Mac writing the stories that have occupied her mind for so many years, or traveling with her best friends, the NOLA’s, riding bikes across the Golden Gate bridge or exploring botanical gardens. She is the proud mother of a champion triathlete, two aging dogs and 1 grand-cat. Della has admittedly confessed to her coffee addiction and swears that her two hour coffee crawl while on vacation in Seattle –was the best two hours of her life!

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Romancing September author Candace Knoebel (Day 22)

It’s Day 22 on the Romancing September Across the World Tour and our gust author today is Candace Knoebel. Meet her here and then join her once more over with Stephanie to discus writing romance in today’s society.

CandaceLet’s find out more about Candace and her book “Embracing the Flames”.

1) Where is your home town?
 – My home town is Davenport, Florida. There’s nothing too exciting about it lol.
2) How long have you been writing?
 – I have been writing avidly since 2009, but I have always written since I was little. I used to write a lot of poetry and journal entries.
3) Have you always written romance?
 – No. Actually, all three of my current novels are categorized as YA Fantasy. They have elements of romance, but not full romance.
4) “Embracing Flames” has a “Hot!” cover, who designed it?
 – Thank you! I love it! Ravven is responsible for both covers. You can find her here: http://www.ravven.com/.
5) Book 2 of the “Born in Flames” Trilogy, this is fantasy/romance, where did the original idea for the plot come from?
 – It came from my love of dragons and mythology and sort of spiralled into what it is now.
6) Aurora is part-dragon, does that mean she can fly? Or does she breathe fire?
 – She does both actually. She can also see at long distances, sense things before they happen, and command fire around her.
7) I have a feeling that there will be some “Flaming” love scenes, can you drop any hints?
 – There is a part where Fenn and Aurora decide to take their relationship to the next level. This is when things change. Never before had they encountered this because they were always ‘just friends’, but now that they have acknowledged their feelings, their relationship goes to the next level. This is where you see the spicier side of Fenn.
8) How has writing a second book in a trilogy been? How did you decide what parts of book one to re-tell if any?
 – Writing the second was fun because I was able to explore more of the magical realm and of her powers and their relationship now that things have been established. I tried to only bring up parts of book one that were needed to be a reminder to the reader who may have forgotten certain details.
9) Can this book be read as a stand alone novel? Or will there be a cliff hanger ending to entice us towards the next book?
 – There is a definite cliff hanger. None of the three books in the trilogy should be read as a stand alone as they all tie into one another. Each book was written  with planned foreshadowing that would come to light in the next book.
10) When can fans expect the third book in the trilogy to be available?
From the Embers will be available this winter if all goes well. I am very excited!
Thank you so much!15993071

Find this book on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Thank you Candace, it’s been lovely to have you as a guest, Good Luck with the third book. Now step over to http://stephanie-hurt.com/

Land of the Unaltered by Leti Del Mar

Land of the Unaltered (Confederation, #1)Land of the Unaltered by Leti Del Mar

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was lucky enough to receive an advanced review copy of this book from the author and was delighted to read the story. A young adult romance set in a futuristic world where there is a liking to have repeated medical alterations. However there are people who don’t want the high life of the city, Rose goes to live with her aunt to escape the world that her parents live in. She meets Flynn, but he refuses to be friendly. A romance blossoms, but what will become of their future? A great story with the promise of its continuation in the next book.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Land-Unaltered-Confederation-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00DD158FK/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1371369693&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=land+of+the+unaltered

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