Authors and Publishers

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Review: Shattered (Dream Realms Trilogy #1)

Sophia Sharp

Kindle Edition
File Size: 589 KB
Print Length:122 pages
Publisher:Dream Publishing (June 18, 2011)

Short, spoiler free review:
Shattered was a very interesting book. It only takes about a day to read because it is only about 122 written pages. I felt very frustrated with this story because the author sometimes failed to flesh out her characters and left a lot of plots hanging. I was drawn to the concept of the dreams in this novel and was, honestly, the one thing that really kept me reading. I admire Ms. Sharp for her creative ability, however I do wish she spent more time on this novel instead of rushing into getting it published. I didn’t enjoy the rushed relationship between Laura and Logan and the dialogue was strained in my opinion. For some reason I did enjoy Shattered . I look forward to reading the sequels to the book, hopefully it gets better. I really love this cover art as well, done by Sophia Sharp herself.
*Warning:This review contains spoilers*

Laura Cubus was perfectly content with her life. A junior in high school, she felt perfectly normal. She had good friends, a great family, and did well in school. Nothing particularly exciting ever happened where she lived, and everything was stable.
But that all drastically changes when a new student arrives at Laura's school. Wild rumours swirl about his past, and Laura becomes determined to find out the truth.
As she gets to know the mysterious student, he shares with her an ancient secret... one that may yet put both of them in grave danger.
And for the first time in her life, Laura is exposed to a completely unfamiliar world. She is swept away on an exhilarating journey that takes to a place where great destiny may yet await... and where supernatural powers run rampant.
is the first book of the Dream Realms Trilogy


Shattered was defiantly an interesting book. Short and quite to the point, I had a strong love/hate relationship with Ms. Shape’s novel. I had read a lot about this books before finally deciding to get it. There were those who “love, love, love[d]” it, and then those who “hated this book with a passion”. If I had to pick what made me buy it: the price. For only $0.99 I really wasn’t giving up much and I love reading Indie novels; I’m a huge fan of Indie/Self-Published authors.

So I gave it a try. This book had a lot of grammatically and spelling mistakes. But that aside, this book also had a strong resemblance of Twilight, which I do not hate nor am I a “Twi-hard“ searching for a new Twilight replacement. There were elements that was all new to Vampires, in my own experience, about Vampires accessing the “dream world”. I thought this was very interesting, but there wasn’t enough of it. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let me start with the beginning:

Laura lived a very normal life, one that she was very happy with keeping, she really didn’t want any changes. Then Logan shows up and everything kind of happens in a blur. They get stuck together in a week long after school detention on math. Then the guy Laura was so in love with tries to rape her with his buddies- DURING SCHOOL!- by this time Logan is all super cool and saves her, but she gets upset. (I felt like there should have been more with this event, like Laura tries to talk to the guy or he tries to beat up Logan, but Ms. Sharp seems to just drop the subject after this, only using it has a bit of a gateway to get the story rolling.) This was actually a bit understandable, especially when the author explains it a little while after.( A reason why I was so torn between loving and hating this book.) When Laura tries to apologize, Logan all of a sudden is showing her his superhuman “abilities” which she isn’t really freaked out about, then he shows her the dream realm and still although she justifies that it is defiantly not “human” she still does not really seem to question what he is. It is not until the middle of the book where, from the little information she has on Logan, that she figures out that he is a Vampire. Now, I knew that he was a Vampire, I had read a lot of reviews etc., but honestly from the little we knew about Logan and what he could do, he really didn’t seem like a Vampire to me. Then when the Vassiz‘s hit men, the term is used to name the Vampire race, comes after then, Logan has to take her away, and although she has only known this guys for about 2 weeks or less, she goes off with him not once bothering to protest that she can’t leave. She does mention that she is leaving her family behind, but that’s it. Logan never attracts me. He’s a bit strange and not in any way mysterious or magical or however Sharp intended him to be. I felt like he was a bit like Edward at times, except he was a bit more stupid at times. He knew that the Vassiz Elders monitor the dreams and that he shouldn’t carry Laura, but he does for hours in the dreams world like an idiot. Laura doesn’t stand up for herself and doesn’t ever put things together. There were parts in the book that fell short and I thought could use a bit more explanation. The dialogue was sketchy and was not at all natural. The characters conversed in long, drawn out sentences that just wouldn’t end and I found myself having to reread pieces because my mind kept drifting. At times I wanted to through my Kindle because I was so frustrated (but because I love my Kindle I didn’t).

But as it seems I’m bashing the book, there are things that I liked. Mainly, this was interesting to see a Dream world. I would have loved to learn more about it, but as it stands, Sharp brings about interesting topics and situations that end in a flash. Logan mentions a Maria that he loved once, but never says more. And in the end when Laura says to change her so the Vassiz cannot track her scent, Logan hesitates for only a second before her changes her. Then the book ends.

I hope that the next two books pick up and that Sharp fills in the bits and pieces she left behind. For $0.99 I really couldn’t ask for a novel like Dark Inside or Blood Red Road. You will either love it, or hate it, or you might be like me and won’t really be able to choose.

In all honesty, I felt this book could use work. The author herself admits this so do not think that I’m bashing her. I felt drawn to the story, yet I wanted to rip it to shreds (figuratively of course because it is only available in E-book formats). I admire Ms. Sharp’s creative ability and I look forward to reading the rest of the series as well as her new book in a new series.

Where you can find Sophia Sharp:
[3E-edit.jpg]Amazon Kindle

About the Author:
Student and aspiring writer. 19 years old. Born in Seattle and moved across the country a few years ago!

                                                      - Sophia Sharp's Amazon page

Monday, December 19, 2011

Author Interview: Hope Collier

Hope Collier was born in Harlan County, Kentucky. Growing up in the Appalachia, she quickly learned that a good imagination — along with the ability to outrun the neighbor’s cantankerous dog — was essential to survival. Hope wrote and illustrated her first book at the age of six and never stopped writing. She now lives in central Kentucky with her husband, two daughters, and a menagerie of pets. When not spending time with her imaginary friends, you’re likely to find her stalking other writers on Twitter or searching out new ways of fitting square pegs into round holes.
                                                                                                  -From Author's Website

Where you can find Hope Collier and her books:
Author Website: Hope Collier Books
Where to buy: The Willows: Haven
Twitter: @hopecollier
Facebook: Hope Collier

I just want to thank author Hope Collier for participating in this interview. Congrats on her success and best wishes in her future.

I hope everyone enjoys the interview.


~When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer/ that you even liked writing

I'm not sure I ever had a moment where I just knew I wanted to be a writer. It's something I've always done. I wrote and illustrated my first book at six years old. Our teacher had them covered and bound as a surprise. I haven't stopped writing since.

~What inspires you to write?

I find inspiration in most aspects of life, but the thing that inspires me most is music! After writing, that's my favorite thing of all. It amazes me that someone can sum up an entire story in a matter of minutes.

~Are any of your characters similar to you or anyone you know?

I think all writers include a little bit of themselves and others in their characters…whether they mean to or not.  I want my characters to feel and act real. The best way to do that is by observing others.

~What made you decide to self-publish? Did you try to go the traditional route at all or did you know from the get-go you wanted to be an indie?

I'm published through a small press and couldn't be happier. I love the attention and support authors receive from smaller houses. It was nice to have a say in cover design and content. I queried a handful of agents very early on, but the more I learned about indie publishers, the more I realized that was the best fit for me.

~Do you have any other jobs at the moment or are you just focusing on your writing?

I'm a stay at home mom of two little girls, and they keep me on my toes!

~Do you enjoy writing in first or third person?

This is a tricky question. I prefer first person for the fact that I love feeling, seeing, hearing and just experiencing what the character is. However, third person is more inclusive of all characters. You get a more information when you can see every aspect. There are advantages to both, but I'd have to say I prefer first person.

~What is a must have food/drink that you must have when writing?

Sweet tea!

~Who are your favorite authors and do they affect your writing?

My favorite authors are Janet Evanovich, because she has such relatable stories and characters, and Elizabeth Isaacs because she is such an emotional and sensory writer. It truly resonates with the reader. I so strive to be that kind of story teller!

~What are your goals at the moment?

My goals for the near future are: Finish the novel due out in April, and complete the second book in THE WILLOWS series due out Fall 2012.

~What was the best and worst comment from any of your writing? How has it helped you grow as a writer?

I try not to take compliments or criticism personally. It becomes too much pressure to please a reader. The problem is, what one person might love about your writing, another may hate. I just try to write something I'd want to read myself and learn from my mistakes. Though I will say, honesty and specificity really help no matter if it's a complement or criticism.

~Will we ever get to see any of your unpublished work one day?

Geez, I hope not! It's unpublished for a reason. Haha!

~You mainly write for teens, why?

I love YA! There's just something magic about teens and the way they see the world. Everything is emotional and epic, yet there's still the newness of not having experienced everything life has to offer.

~Can you share with us a little of the work that is yet to come?

Book two of THE WILLOWS is well under way and so much fun! Everyone will get a deeper look into the mythology surrounding the world where Ashton, Gabe, and the rest live. More questions will be answered from HAVEN, and there will be a few surprises as well. I'm all about the mystery!

~Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

You guys are my heroes! I couldn't do this without the support and encouragement of the readers. I owe you all more than I can ever repay you! Thanks!

~Do you have any rituals or habits that you do when writing?

Music! Music is the drive behind my muse. It fuels my imagination and sets the stage for what's going to happen. I can't write without it.

~Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind?

See the previous question ;) My favorite bands for writing are: Luke Asher, Silversun Pickups, Florence + the Machine, Bon Iver, The Fray, Adele, Death Cab for Cutie, and Snow Patrol. I love indie, folk, and singer/songwriter bands.

~Out of every one of your novels, who is your favorite character?

Oh, wow. This is a near impossible question to answer. I think one of my favorite characters to write is Kyle. He's just so easygoing and simple, but he's genuine and heartfelt. He's the kind of person anyone would want to have as a best friend.

~Which is your all time favorite novel?

Hands down, my favorite book ever, THE LIGHT OF ASTERIA by Elizabeth Isaacs. No other novel has moved me like this one. It's a story about selfless love and heartfelt forgiveness. Not to mention the incredible characters that are so real and true to life, you forget they're not really your friends. Just an incredible story! I highly recommend it!

~Do you outline before you write?

Not typically. I'm more of a pantser when it comes to writing. I'm not sure if that's the best way to write, but I think if I plotted the entire thing, I'd pull my hair out. I like the element of surprise, even if it's from my own characters.

~If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor and why?

Elizabeth Isaacs. I love her ability to include so much information and detail without the reader ever noticing they're getting it. And her world/character building is just amazing! There's so much more to her stories than the obvious. They're steeped in meaning and significance.

~Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Free advice is worth what it costs you, but mine would be this: Write for you. Write for fun. Learn and grow, but never give up or compromise when it means something to you! Oh, and don't expect to be perfect…especially when you're just starting out.

~What are some future projects we can expect?

I actually have several projects in varying stages. I hope to have more on those as they progress, and I have a little better idea how they'll pan out. One is a ghost story and the other has more of an "earthy" feel. And of course, Book 2 of THE WILLOWS.

Random questions:

~If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet, what would you want?

To pilot their indestructible aircraft! I don't want to be able to hurt myself.

~If you could be any character in fiction, whom would it be?

Hmm, this is a tough one. The first person to pop into my mind is Jo March from Little Women. She's such an incredible character…strong and non-conforming. She was always comfortable with herself and really made an impact. Plus, she was a writer.

~If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

It'd probably something lame but functional like super-human knowledge retention. I love words and information. It would be nice to act as a walking encyclopedia as long as I wasn’t annoying!

~If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be?

Something salty, no doubt!

~When was the year you were the most happy and why?

I've never been happier or more content than I am now. My life is so beyond blessed. I couldn't ask for anything more.

~If you had to choose to fight off 1000 cats, 1000 babies, or 1000 old people, who would you fight against?

I'm going to go with 1,000 babies. They're relatively immobile and they don't have teeth. While some might say that's true of the latter, the thought of dirty diapers is less creepy on an infant. ;)

~If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

"Caution: Stumbler at Work"

Friday, December 9, 2011

Author Interview: Raine Thomas

The world of publishing has always brought enjoyment and escape to their fans. Like in every entertainment business, there are those who make it big and those that don’t. But that has not stopped authors like Raine Thomas from achieving their dreams.

(I will admit here that for fun I like to browse books on the Amazon Kindle store and see which book, when I had the money, I would purchase; read more about that here).

While browsing around on the Amazon, I came upon Mrs. Thomas’s e-book, Becoming. The cover art was amazing, there was a rating of 4.9/5 stars, and the e-book was just $0.99! So, I read the reviews- the best and the worst- and had to admit that it sounded very appealing. However, low on cash, I decided to stalk…err I mean follow Mrs. Thomas on twitter while I waited for some cash to flow in. She was funny and responded to her fans with great enthusiasm. From what I had read on the previews and what fans said, I was dying to read her books. But as I waited, I wanted to have an interview with her. I actually never thought she would participate. Popular as she was, and working on a new book for a new series, I really didn’t expect for her to get back to me the very next day.!

So now without further adieu, because I am sure you want to get to interview if you haven’t skipped this part yet, I present Mrs. Raine Thomas:
 Raine Thomas is the author of  the exciting and original series of YA fantasy/romance novels      about the Estilorian plane, including the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy and the upcoming Firstborn trilogy. She is a proud member of Romance Writers of America and is a contributing blogger to The Writer's Voice. When she isn’t planning weddings, writing or glued to social networking sites, she can usually be found on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches with her husband and daughter or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

What inspires you to write?
I’m inspired by the world around me! There will be times when I’m walking my dog, for example, and I’ll see the sunlight hit the surrounding trees or water in just a certain way. Or I might witness a tender interaction between two people that sticks in my mind. Images such as these evoke scenes that I can only hope I later convey in my writing.

Are any of your characters similar to you or anyone you know?
While I take care not to fictionalize people that I know, I strive to write characters with which my readers can associate. Thus, in keeping my characters as realistic as possible, they certainly exhibit traits of both me and people in my life.

As of this year, 2011, how many books have you sold?
My books have been available since July 24th, 2011. Since publication just over four months ago, I’ve sold between 6,000 and 7,000 books. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every person who has supported me through book purchases, reviews, recommendations to others, etc. You mean the world to me!

Do you have any "training" as a writer, such as, do you have a degree in writing etc?
Yes, I do. My undergraduate degree from Georgia State University is a bachelor of arts in English with a focus in Creative Writing. My master’s degree from Central Michigan University is in humanities. Both programs required extensive writing and research, which helped me lay the groundwork for my career as an author. Since then, I’ve participated in continuing education workshops offered by reputable organizations such as Romance Writers of America (RWA), of which I’m a member.

What made you decide to self-publish? Did you try to go the traditional route at all or did you know from the get-go you wanted to be an indie?
I did try to go the traditional route, largely because that’s all I knew when I first started on the road to publication. After months of honing my query letter, reading article after article and book after book about how to approach literary agents and publishers, and receiving nothing but rejections, I began exploring the world of indie publishing. Stories of successful indie authors such as Amanda Hocking, John Locke and Joe Konrath made me realize that this was a viable possibility. I’m thrilled with my decision!

Do you have any other jobs at the moment or are you just focusing on your writing?
My full-time job is that of a wedding planner, and I do that between 40-60 hours a week. I’m also a wife and mother. In short, my writing time is limited! I typically write late in the evening after everyone else is in bed. Sleep? What’s that??

How wide does your fan base go, meaning do people just know you in the U.S. or all over the world? And how does this make you feel?
I’ve got fans from around the world…from here in the U.S. to Canada, from Australia to the UK, from Greece to South Africa. It’s awesome!! I LOVE communicating with my fans. They really make my day.

Do you enjoy writing in first or third person?
My books are all in the third-person. This isn’t as common in YA books, I’ve noticed. But I knew going into my Estilorian series that I was going to focus on different characters, so first-person wasn’t an option. I figure this way, I’ll (hopefully) keep my writing from growing stale, as there will always be fresh characters to focus on and new plots to develop!

What are your goals at the moment?
At the moment, my goals are to get through the busy wedding season here in Orlando, which starts in October and runs through December. Then I want to focus on writing (both the nonfiction wedding planning and business-related books that I write and my fiction books). I plan to have my second trilogy released before the anniversary of the release of the Daughters of Saraqael.

What was the best and worst comment from any of your writing? How has it helped you grow as a writer?
The most amazing feedback I’ve received actually came very recently. A young lady wrote me to say that she thought my books were the best she’d ever read, and that if she becomes an author, her inspiration will be me. Talk about a career-cementing moment!
As for the most negative feedback I’ve received, I would have to say the person who said they wouldn’t recommend Becoming to other readers because they didn’t enjoy it. That was difficult to hear! Still, I know that every book isn’t going to appeal to every reader. It helps me to focus on the majority of the feedback I receive, which is (very fortunately!) quite positive.

Can you share with us a little of the work that is yet to come? Self-published or otherwise?
I’d be happy to! Here is the prologue from book one of the upcoming Firstborn trilogy, featuring a new generation (and class) of Estilorians. As I mentioned, I’m currently writing book two. I hope you enjoy it!

“The pain was unimaginable.
She dragged herself along the ground with her one working arm, at turns scrabbling at tree roots or shrubs and at others digging her hand as deep into the earth as she could manage before hauling her broken body as far as possible. In the past hour, she had moved approximately fifteen feet.
She knew she was going to die. The horrors that had been visited upon her were so atrocious that she couldn’t even think of them now. It was as though a black haze coated her memory.
But her attackers had left her in sight of a platform that could get her to Central. They had no way of knowing it because, being Mercesti, they were unable to see the heavily enchanted travel system. The platform glimmered to her like a taunting beacon, however, bouncing lightly on the waves. If she’d had the required energy left, she would have extended her wings and flown to it.
Animal-like sounds left her throat as she struggled for the strength to move. If she could somehow get to the platform, perhaps someone at Central could help her. And if she was very fortunate, kyria Amber or archigos Gabriel might even be in attendance. They could heal her.
Once more, she stretched her right arm in front of her. The ground onto which she was emerging from the forest was sandy and open. If any of her attackers remained nearby, they would see her. While that thought terrified her, she couldn’t fight the instinct to survive. She knew she had to try. So she pressed her hand into the blazing hot sand until she had enough of a grip to pull herself. Then she strained her already aching bicep and heaved herself forward as much as she could.
She didn’t even move a foot.
Although she thought her attackers had wrought all of the tears from her, she realized now that wasn’t the case. They tracked down her bruised and broken face, joining with her sweat and plopping into the sand beneath her head. Heat radiated from the unforgiving surface beneath her, burning her already punished skin.
A sound to her right had her stiffening in fear. She made a whimpering sound as distinct footfalls grew nearer.
Her enemies must have returned to finish what they started. The tears continued unchecked as she carefully removed her hand from the sand in hopes she could do at least a little damage to the next male who hurt her. She would fight until she couldn’t.
But the being approaching her stopped on her left side. She tried to move her head toward her left and couldn’t. Another pained sound escaped her.
The presence knelt. He said, “Ah, Luvania. What have you gotten yourself into?”
She couldn’t turn her head and her vision was blurred by tears and exhaustion, but recognition was immediate. Although she hadn’t heard that voice in over fifty years, she could identify it. He still managed to sound both impatient with the world and infinitely bored by it. And at the moment, there was a gentleness beneath his tone she would never have expected.
“I am afraid your injuries are beyond my ability to repair,” he said. “I have seen others emerge from the water where you appear to be trying to reach. I can get you to the platform with your assistance.”
She couldn’t find the energy to speak, so made another sound in her throat and moved her head in a form of a nod.
“This will hurt.”
He lifted her. Pain screamed through her body. She squeezed her eyes shut against it. When she again opened her eyes, she realized they were in the water. She must have passed out.
“Thought I might have lost you there,” he said. “Are you ready for placement on the platform?”
Why would he not get on it with her? The thought floated through her head and then faded as insignificant. They had only a couple feet more to go. Extending her right arm toward the platform, she indicated she was ready. He obligingly moved forward. When her hand came into contact with the platform, more tears welled in her eyes. He settled her on it and stepped away.
“Good fortune to you, Luvania,” he said.
She once again thought to ask why he wasn’t accompanying her, but by then she was lifting into the sky.
The trip took an eternity. She lost consciousness more than once. Each time, she saw her rescuer’s face in her mind, though she hadn’t actually glimpsed him during their encounter. Thoughts of him from the past as well as what he had just done for her kept her focused, overriding the brutality she had endured.
She wanted to thank him. Wanted to praise him for giving her hope merely moments after she had given up and decided she was going to die. She wanted to help him as he had helped her. Surely he needed her help if he was living on the mainland and had removed himself from existence for over five decades.
Her delirium grew. Thinking became difficult. But at long last, through vision that was slowly fading to gray, she saw the outline of Central approaching.
She had made it.
The platform eased its way into Central’s loading bay. The darkness of the underground cavern had her blinking to try and focus. It did her no good.
Her brain registered the sounds around her, but couldn’t interpret them. The pain had leeched from her body. She understood then that it had all been for nothing. Her efforts. His efforts. For nothing.
“Holy light!” she heard.
There were other sounds. Other exclamations. People touching her. But she no longer felt anything. She registered only one lingering image.
“Luvania, can you hear me?”
Something flickered in her mind at the echoing voice. Caoilinn.
“Luvania, can you tell us who did this to you?” the Lekwuesti commander asked, her words filled with urgency.
She wanted to tell them. They needed to know. Others would be at risk as she had been. There were dangers beyond any Estilorian’s knowledge lurking on the mainland.
So she struggled to work her strained vocal chords as darkness clouded her mind. There was something important she had to tell them. Wasn’t there?
Then she remembered. The image she had carried with her on the ride to Central. Someone she needed to help.
And with her last breath, she told them.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
My advice to anyone who wants to write for a living is to write something every day. It can be a character sketch or the outline of a scene…anything that relates to your writing goal. Some aspiring writers get discouraged because they think they’ll never complete a book, or finish their short story or article, etc. But if you write a little every day, that will add up to a lot over time. So don’t give up!

What are your current projects and what are some future projects we can expect?
My most recent release is an Estilorian short story called The Prophecy (available for free on Smashwords  and $0.99 on Amazon until they price match it at free). I’ve also begun working on book two of the Firstborn trilogy. My plan is to release the Firstborn trilogy all at once like I did the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy…but I might stagger the books if my fans get antsy!

Random questions:

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?
Oh…Drew Barrymore! We’re about the same age and I was compared to her a number of years ago. I found it a wonderful compliment.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
I think my superpower would have to be the ability to stop time…as I have so little of it in the day to do the things I love!

If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be?
Definitely milk chocolate…sweet and comforting. :)

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Living the Dream!

Check out her books:

Every three years, Amber Hopkins explodes. Okay, not a blown-to-smithereens explosion, but whatever it is always hurts like hell and leaves her life a shambles. She's already worked her way through five foster placements, and she's doing whatever she can to avoid getting blasted into a sixth.
As her eighteenth birthday approaches and she feels the strange and powerful energy building, disaster looms. When the inevitable explosion occurs, her life gets its biggest shakeup yet.
She'll not only learn how her fellow foster and best friend, Gabriel, really feels about her, but she'll discover that she isn't really without family.
To top it all off, she'll finally find out why she's having the power surges: she isn't entirely human.
Amber must Become, transitioning to another plane of existence and risking the loss of the most important relationship she's ever had. Her choice will impact the future of an entire race of beings, and will pit her against an enemy that will prey upon her doubt to try and take her very life.
Kind of makes the explosions now seem like a cakewalk.
                                                                     -Amazon Book Description
Buy this book: Amazon
                        Barnes & Noble-Nook E-Book

For avid student Olivia Murdoch, life on the Estilorian plane is filled with wondrous adventure. Every lesson about her new existence is both exciting and challenging. Along with her sisters, she embraces this non-human half of herself.
Helping with her lessons is her Gloresti, James. Teacher, scholar and distractingly attractive, James takes on his roles of Olivia's guide and protector with equal dedication. As he learns the human emotions that Estilorians no longer experience, he starts to see Olivia as much more than just an assigned pairing.
The physically weakest of her sisters, Olivia trains hard to learn things that no typical human classroom can impart. When they travel to "Central," the Estilorian base, she comes to understand why she must become strong enough to defend herself. She and her sisters are targets.
Not all Estilorians welcome them. In fact, more than one would see them dead.

                                                             -Amzon Book Description

Buy this book: Amazon
                       Barnes and Noble- Nook E-Book

Centuries before she was born, Skye Tomaganuk was a subject of the most important prophecy in Estilorian history. As one of three half-human daughters born of the Corgloresti, Saraqael, she is part of the fulfillment of Knorbis’ Great Foretelling. What she doesn’t know is just what the Foretelling entails for her and her sisters.
 As Skye and her sisters continue their training and visit each of the Estilorian class homelands, they soon learn how much impact their human emotions have on their father’s kind. Skye is particularly interested in the effect of emotions on her Gloresti, Caleb. Although she wants their relationship to progress beyond just that ...
                                                    -Amazon Book Description
Buy this book: Amazon
                        Barnes and Noble- Nook E-Book
Saraqael hadn’t intended to fall in love with Kate. It shouldn’t have even been possible. His kind didn’t experience emotion, and they certainly weren’t supposed to become attached to humans.
When he discovers that Kate’s dying and there’s nothing he or her human doctors can do for her, Saraqael realizes how deep his feelings for her run. And he understands just how far he’s willing to go to save her.
He vows to search until he finds a way to save her life. With the help of his best friend, Quincy, he embarks on a quest spanning the Estilorian plane…a quest that will forever change the future of his kind.
                                                     -Amzon Book Description
Buy this book: Amazon
Where you can find Raine Thomas:
Twitter: @Raine_Thomas
Facebook: Raine Thomas
Website: Raine Thomas
Hope you all enjoyed the interview as much as I did! I would like to thank Mrs. RaineThomas for dropping by the blog. I had a lot of fun reading her responses and I want to wish her good luck and happy writing in her new adventures in writing a new series!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Book Review: Hell Phone

William Sleator

Reading level:
Ages 13 and up
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (September 1, 2007)

Nick wants a cell phone so he can talk to his girlfriend, Jen, after school, but he doesn't have a lot of money. The used phone he buys seems like a bargain, until the phone calls begin—strangers calling night and day, some begging for help, others making demands. Nick wants to get rid of the phone, but something prevents him, and, soon he finds himself committing crimes—stealing, conning . . .and killing. --- Goodreads

Surprisingly, I found this book in the Dollar Store. I’ll tell you now, if you’re thinking that “Oh, it’s from the Dollar Store, it must be bad,” I have to let you know now that this statement is not true. I’ve actually found some really amazing books there.

Now, on to the review: I really liked this book. Honestly, I thought how serious of a story that is about a phone from hell is going to be? Boy, was I wrong to judge (Remember kids, don’t judge a book by it’s cover- but sometimes the cover helps). Sleator really spun a story out of an almost wacky idea that had me terrified that my phone might ring one night and people from hell would be on the other side. I swear to you, I used to jump out of my skin when the phone rang while I was reading this book.

I really liked Nick as a character. He felt whole and real to me. There was no hide and seek with his character. He was a really sweet guy who wanted to be closer to his girlfriend and then falls into a horrible situation. I felt for his character. Sometimes I felt like I was Nick. When he was sad, I was sad. When he got angry, I got angry. There were a lot of emotions in this book, but not so much that you felt lost.

I love the twist in the last few chapters! My heart was racing and I could not stop reading. William Sleator was a horror genius! If you love horrors that hit you with an unexpected twist, you will love this novel!
William Sleator (February 13, 1945 – August 3, 2011)
Where you can find other William Sleator books:
Amazon: Author Page
Goodreads: Author Page
On this blog:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Book Review: What I Was


Meg Rosoff
Reading Level: High school and up
224 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult (January 24, 2008)

What I Was is a reminiscence of an old man as he recounts a life changing experience during his sixteenth year. First, let me start by saying that I loved Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now- just as it captivated me, so too has What I Was. I think it’s safe to say that I love Rosoff’s work. She writes in a voice that captivates you and damn near makes you want to jump in and swim among her words. This novel was hauntingly magical. Rosoff explores the relationship between H and Finn. H hungers for new experiences far from the bleak halls of St. Oswald boarding school, the glares of authority and the taunts of his roommates. One afternoon, after stopping for a drink of water while running along the coast, H meets the young Finn, a teenage boy who seems content to live a life like Robinson Crusoe. Self-sufficient and contented, Finn makes his living by hauling boxes at the market and he not only has no parents, but lives alone and doesn't go to school. According to the government, Finn doesn't actually exist. H becomes obsessed with Finn as he attempts to escape both day and night from the daily rituals of St Oswald's, endeavoring to spend time with his new friend. H stalks him at the local market, everything he knows about Finn eventually coming to him in fragments, tiny shards to number and label and fit together.

This isn't so much sexual attraction, although there is a great love, but its more a type of vicarious living- the sensation of living inside another person's life. Eventually ignoring the ever-harsher glares of authority and the taunts of his roommates, H becomes more of a risk taker, braving the school's curfew to spend even more time with Finn. The accusations however, begin in whispers with Reese and Barrat and Gibbon, his roommates.
I was enchanted by every word Rosoff wrote. What I Was is the story of a friendship that is so strange that it can only exist within the woods that the story takes place. I loved H’s obsession with an obsession of my own. It was interesting to see how he dealt with it. It made me wonder if that isn’t what love is- wanting to be that person more than wanting to be ourselves. The relationship was not strained or tainted. There is a childlike delight in their relationship and a twist I could really not have seen coming.

This book was just awesome. I couldn't put it down and then when I did I couldn't stop thinking about H and Finn. It makes me want to burst with excitmen,t I love this book so much!

Not in any way your average story, I would not be surprised if it becomes one among the classics. Short and simply delightful you will not want to put this book down. A must read!

Where you can find Meg Rosoff and her delightful books:
Twitter @MegRosoff
Amazon: Meg Rosoff Author Page
GoodReads: Author Page
Author WebSite

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Book Review: Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts


Hardcover:336 pages
Readig Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (November 1, 2011)
Since mankind began, civilizations have always fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs…Now it’s our turn. Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something even more awful is happening. An ancient evil has been unleashed, turning everday people into hunters, killers, crazies.

Mason's mother is dying after a terrible car accident. As he endures a last vigil at her hospital bed, his school is bombed and razed to the ground, and everyone he knows is killed. Aries survives an earthquake aftershock on a bus, and thinks the worst is over when a mysterious stranger pulls her out of the wreckage, but she’s about to discover a world changed forever. Clementine, the only survivor of an emergency town hall meeting that descends into murderous chaos, is on the run from savage strangers who used to be her friends and neighbors. And Michael witnesses a brutal road rage incident that is made much worse by the arrival of the police--who gun down the guilty party and then turn on the bystanding crowd.

Where do you go for justice when even the lawmakers have turned bad? These four teens are on the same road in a world gone mad. Struggling to survive, clinging on to love and meaning wherever it can be found, this is a journey into the heart of darkness – but also a journey to find each other and a place of safety.

WOW. WOW. WOW! Did I mention: WOW? Dark Inside was just awesome, awesome, AWESOME! 2011 has definitely been the year for dystopian novels and so far I have read some pretty amazing ones including Blood Red Road, Divergent, and The Hunger Games. But Jeyn Roberts writes a novel that is unlike any I have read so far. Told from 4 different POVs, Roberts explores the world as it falls to pieces. Unlike other dystopian novels recently, Roberts explores the during and after of the end-of-the-world situation, not just the after. Personally, I thought this was amazing (sorry for the lack of words here but it is just AMAZING!). The multiple POVs showed that there were not just one hero in this devastation, but multiple. The characters were so real and interesting I found myself dreaming about them while I was awake or asleep. I was sad when I couldn’t find time to finish and when I did get to read it I was lost in the world of Dark Inside.

First, the cover art is just brilliant. Honestly, while searching on Amazon, when I came upon the book, it was the cover art that drew me in and it was the summary and the preview that persuaded me to buy this book. I didn’t even bother to read anything about the book- call it instinct, but I just knew this book just had to be great! And I sure was right.

Of the four characters, I think Aries hasto be my favorite. I’d like to think that if I were ever in that circumstance I would be able to become the leader and worry about everyone else beside myself. She took control when there was no hope of security and tried to make the horrible situation at least half-way decent. Mason is just a really sweet guy. After loosing his mother, I really thought he would just ended up killing himself or eventually turn into a Bagger himself. He lost everything he had. After finally being able to trust people again and then having them ripped away from him was just so sad. Michael was…interesting. I felt he was one of the realest characters. Even though he was faced with the decision of dying with his group or saving himself own would have thought he would have stayed and try to find a way to beat the Bagger and save his friend Evens and the woman with her sick child, but the fact that he ran away and tried to save at least himself- well I thought that was the most human a character has ever acted. Clementine was so determined to find her brother, it was awesome to see how her mind worked in trying to travel a monster infested world when there was little hope of any survival. Roberts characters were each different and I really couldn’t pick which was more brave. These teens were throw into a world that wanted to rip them to shreds and Roberts was able to psychologically dig into each one of their subconscious that give us characters that each had different goals and feels while stuck in the same world.

I loved the idea of this evil and how the world was cleansing itself. Roberts even gave us instances where this might have actually have happened. The Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs, all leaders of their time and each fell. It is almost like Roberts is suggesting that no matter how much we grow, sometimes the world cannot take the evil and then we need to be cleansed. The idea that others turned “evil” while others were spared was so fascinating, but also it was like even though they were somewhat safe from this “evil” they too held some of it within them. I just thought the psyche of that was just brilliant!

Roberts delivery was spectacular. I never felt out of the loop and the additional view from “Nothing” lets the reader into the mind of those turned. I thought Roberts choice from the multiple POVs was spectacular and the fact that they all met up in the end was just great!

I read that there was going to be a sequel and I so hope that’s true because I am DYING to read what happened next. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE… this book! Simon & Schuster has defiantly been publishing some of the most amazing dystopian novels ever. First Blood Red Road and now Dark Inside. I am defiantly loving this year!

If you haven’t read this book yet I really have no idea what you are waiting for. Go- go get a copy now. I serious!

Where to find Jeyn Roberts:
Twitter: @JeynRoberts
Amazon: Jeyn Roberts Author Page
Facebook: Jeyn Roberts
Good Reads: Jeyn Roberts
YouTube: Dark Inside Trailer
Author Website: JeynRoberts
Simon & Schuster: Jeyn Roberts Author

Friday, November 18, 2011

Author Interview: Nicole Storey

After becoming a “Twitter fanatic” over the past few months, I have had the honor of meeting a myriad of different people with whom I have much in common, and have become friends with. One such person is YA/MG author, Nicole Storey of Grimsley Hollow: The Chosen One. Over a very short time, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Ms. Storey and I can say with all my heart that she is genuinely a wonderful and kind person. Ms. Storey has been extremely supportive and was gracious enough to answer a few questions as a guest on KniteTales and I am quite grateful she agreed. Please welcome, Nicole Storey:

Nicole Storey during her favorite time of year, Holloween.

1) What inspired you to write "Grimsley Hollow"?

A: “Grimsley Hollow” started out as a hobby. As a stay-at-home mom, I realized that I didn’t have something that I could do that was “all mine” and no one else's. I began writing because I wanted to do something for myself.

2) What is your workspace like?

A: My office is usually pretty neat. I have two fish tanks in there (a 150 gallon and a 30 gallon), and with all of the filters going, it sounds like it is raining all the time; very peaceful. My desk, on the other hand, can get very unorganized, especially when I am editing! I’m the type of person who can’t work in chaos, so I try to keep everything as neat as I can.

3) What is a typical day in your life?

A: A typical day for me is waking at 6am to get the kids ready for school. After that, I do a bit of cleaning or running errands, and then I write. I go into my study, turn on some music, and let myself enter another world. It is the best job in the world! After my kids get home from school, I help them with their homework, cook dinner, and then I try to spend some time with my family. Our favorite thing to do is have “Movie Night” where I pop popcorn and we turn all the lights off and cuddle on the couch to watch a dvd or I read to my kids.

4) What are three of your favorite authors? And do they inspire your writing?

A: I have a lot of authors that I enjoy reading. Right now, one of my favorite series is “The Hollows” by Kim Harrison and yes, she does inspire me. I love the way Kim always has time for her fans. She answers questions, whether it be about her writing or helping others with their own writing. She hasn’t forgot about the very people who got her where she is today and I respect that about her. So many other authors forget about the fans once they reach a certain point in their careers.

5) Do you have any rituals or habits that you do when writing?

A: I always have to have some sort of music playing in the background and a cup of coffee by my hand.

6) Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind?

A: Yes! I like instrumental music, usually Manheim Steamroller or some other spooky tunes.

7) What is your preferred drink or snack that is a must have when you write?

A: I must have coffee!!! I am a coffee addict!

8) What is your favorite genre to read and write?

A: I write middle grade fantasy with a touch of paranormal and I love to read fantasy and paranormal, too. I also enjoy books that deal with people in impossible situations such as dystopian genres. Really, I like all kinds of books except romance and erotica.

9) What can of books can we expect from you in the future? Anything unrelated to the series you are writing?

A: I do have an idea for a horror/thriller book that I am thinking of and also a children’s book. However, my next book will be in the “Grismley Hollow” series.

10) If you could change anything about your book, what would you change?

A: I plan to do some revisions in my first book to clarify changes in different point-of-views. Other than that, I love my book just the way it is.

11) Who is your favorite author?

A: My favorite author of all time is C.S. Lewis. His works instilled in me the love of reading and books when I was a child.

12) What was the hardest part to write?

A: The hardest part of writing for me is editing. It is hard to edit your own work, but having the help of beta readers makes it go a little easier.

13) What did you do to get yourself in the mindset to write everyday?

A: I love to write, so it isn’t hard for me to get in that mindset. I always have ideas for my characters running through my head. I live in Grimsley Hollow almost 24/7! LOL!

14) What is your favorite part about the book?

A: I think my favorite part is when Gage blames himself for Siren’s kidnapping and the dragon explains to him why he shouldn’t. Too many times in our lives, we blame ourselves for things that are beyond our control. It is a good lesson to learn.

15) Do you outline your story?

A: I didn’t with my first book and I wish that I had. I do have an outline for the one I am working on now. The story doesn’t always stay with what I have on my outline, but it is a good base to have and I always come back to it. A lot of times, my characters take on a life of their own and I have no choice but to follow them and see where it leads.

16) If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

A: J.K. Rowling. Her personal story will always be an inspiration to me and she showed me that if I a person really wants to write, then they shouldn’t let anything keep them from their dream.

17) What book are you reading now?

A: Right now, I am not reading anything because my children have been sick (both are scheduled for surgeries this month), but I read several over the past couple of weeks, including “Keiko’s House” by Hugh Ashton, K.L. Nappier’s “Full Wolf Moon” series, and “Cicada” by Belle Whittington. I plan on starting M. Edward McNally’s “Norothian Cycle” series as soon as I get a moment.

18) Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

A: Oh yes! K.L. Nappier, Erik Gustafson, Stephen Hise, Kristina Jackson, Belle Whittington, William G. Jones, TW Brown, and many others! Most of the new authors I have discovered belong to a book club that I am a member of on Facebook called “Book Junkies”. Indie authors have really turned my head these days and it is nice to go outside of the box of “traditional writers” and find new and exciting books to read. There are so many talented Indie writers out there! For those who are interested, you can find many wonderful books here:

19) What are your current projects?

A: Right now, I am working on the second book in the “Grimsley Hollow” series called “The Search For Siren”. Next month, I will also start a revision on my first book to polish it up a bit.

20) Can you share a little of your work to come?

A: In the second “Grimsley Hollow” book, Siren (a werewolf and Gage’s best friend) has been taken hostage by the evil witch, Inari. He and his friends are on a quest to rescue him before he is turned into a wolf forever and forgets all of his human traits.

21)Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

A: I learned that I still have a lot to learn, especially in the publishing and marketing business! I also learned not to give up hope and to keep working towards my goals because all the hard work will pay off in the end. My son taught me that. He is the main character in the “Grimsley Hollow” book and he has autism and Tourette’s syndrome.

22) Do you have any advice for other writers?

A: Read, read, read!!! The more you read, the more you learn about writing. Also, what has helped me the most is joining a book club, such as Book Junkies: There are many writers, beta readers, and reviewers in this club and they offer excellent advice and will give you honest opinions on your work. Lastly, when you think you have your book finished, edit it one more time or get someone else to read over it for you. Beta readers are very important, as they catch those mistakes that the writer will most likely miss on their own.

23) Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

A: Yes! I have just been signed with Inknbeans Press (!!! I am so happy about this news! It is so reassuring to have a company such as this supporting me in my writing career!

24) Who designed your cover art?

A: Caludia from Phatpuppy Art ( She is THE BEST digital artist out there today, in my opinion! She has designed covers for authors such as Amanda Hocking, S.E. Gordon, Jason Letts and many others.

25) When did you realize you wanted to write/ become a writer?

A: I have always loved to write, but have always hated printing! I hold my pens/pencils in a weird way that causes my hand to cramp up after about an hour. When I was 13 years old, I got a type writer for Christmas and it opened a whole new world for me.

26) As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? And have you accomplished that?

A: For a long time, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I love the ocean and all the animals that live there. They fascinate me! But, life has a way of taking you down different roads instead of the ones you plan for yourself. I’m very glad it did.

Random questions:
If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet, what would you want?

A: I would ask them for a cure for diseases that plague our world right now; autism and cancer being the first two.

If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be?

A: I would love to be a character in “The Chronicles of Narnia” or perhaps Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter books.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?

A: Sandra Bullock! LOL! She is one of my favorite actresses and can always make me laugh.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

A: I think it would be fun to fly! Oh, and of course have the power to produce amazing works of literature!

If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be?

A: Wow, that’s a hard one! Probably corn bread because it goes with anything down here in the south! LOL!

I can be reached at these places:

Twitter: @Nicole_Storey



My book, “Grimsley Hollow-The Chosen One” is available in paperback and e-book at places such as Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble.

I'd like to say a big thank you to Ms. Storey for being a part of my first interview here at KniteTales! Also, CONGRATS on getting signed! I am thrilled to have met such a wonderful person and have been able to read her book.
I hope you all enjoyed this interview and don't forget to comment below.