Saturday, July 30, 2011

End of Mae Angela Smith



Another darker than normal novella for me.  It was a short and fast paced and  honestly that didn't harm it in any way.  I wasn't familiar with the Jersey Devil lore, but Smith added some info about it at the end for a reference.  This is definitely not a light hearted paranormal book in the least.  I am not big on the torture aspects of it, however I think the story would have been lacking without it.  Since it seems to be needed for the ending to really take place.

I found that I could feel for Mae and the struggles that she faced.  After all in some of the situations who wouldn't be terrified?   Also she does try to put on a brave front, and even at the end of the book she does begin to argue with her savior(in several ways I suppose)  ...which to me was an ironic twist.  

The books is told through different points of views.  I didn't find it too confusing, and honestly think that it added to the plot quite nicely.  

I did enjoy reading the book, even if it isn't my normal read...so I give it my Pretty Good rating:







Saturday, July 23, 2011

As Darkness Falls Series Tim Kizer


Both of these are short stories with a serious punch.  I am not one to be big on the darker side of fiction...typically I like my fiction to be a bit lighter.  However both of these are very well written, and were not gory enough to cause me any issue.  I did enjoy reading them and was drawn into them quite easily.

Intoxication I loved seeing the demise of Leslie mentality.  She really had a major downslide as she figured out everything.  A total mystery until the very end.  It is told from Leslie's perspective and as you finally realized what is happening it was too late...element of surprise is always good.

Hitchhiker was quite interesting.  After all how often does 2 killers meet and not know it until later?  I think for me it was just looking at it from that perspective and trying to catch all that happened.  I did get a bit confused at one point as who was talking about who...but overall very intriguing story.

Overall I give this my Pretty Good rating...I did enjoy the books but it was just a bit to dark for me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Interview with W.D. Tuck and a Great Giveaway!!

First off Thanks W.D. for doing the interview and the awesome giveaway as well(details to follow)!  If you haven't read my review of Magical Shades of Blue and you can find it HERE.  So let's get to the interview!



Where did the idea for Magical Shade of Blue come from?
             The idea for Magical Shades of Blue came to me when I was on an adventure in Mexico.  I had been there for two months sailing, scuba diving, surfing and writing. I was sitting in a cafe one morning that overlooked the light blue Pacific Ocean. It was a place I came to every morning to write, eat breakfast and plan my day. I have a routine of writing 1000 words every morning and I was sitting down to begin when the idea popped into my head. The ideas came forth so rapidly and started to take shape so quickly that I could not write fast enough. Characters names, settings and ideas were pouring forth at such a great speed it was almost overwhelming. As a writer, one has many ideas and once in a while you stumble across one (or one stumbles into you) that you feel must be developed. It's almost like stumbling across a story that is simply waiting to be told and it's up to you as a writer to work out the details. I have a deep love and respect for the ocean and the idea of creating a modern day superhero out of it was very appealing. Warrior Waves are superheroes, and are only in this story to protect our world. It's frustrating as a citizen to watch as many of our most beautiful landscapes are being developed or destroyed for profit by big businesses and part of this story is a voice for that frustration. A voice that will hopefully appeal to young and old readers alike.
 What challenges did you come across when writing the book?
            Well, it took 2 ½ years to complete. The first draft of Magical Shades of Blue took one year to write and was 130, 000 words. I had so much I wanted to say and so many characters to develop that it ended up being quite long. But, after many rewrites I cut it down to its current size (55,000 words), which made the story much tighter and more action packed. I decided to develop further plot lines and characters in the second book. The biggest challenge was telling a fictional story that would be adventurous and entertaining, yet still pertain to some of the challenges we face with environmental and wildlife conservation in our world today. I wanted to approach this issue in a way that I would respond to and that is through a whimsical story and characters one can empathize with. Hearing the difficulties many of our animal characters face in the story will hopefully reflect some of the difficulties they face in our world, and the greatest challenge in doing that was making sure the story would not come across as preachy. 
What was the easiest part to write?
            The easiest part to write was when Herman and Tortuga reach the Northwest. This is the area I hail from and the landscapes and animals described are so familiar to me that it was quite easy to relay them in the work. I also felt proud being able to share parts of the cultures in the Northwest and loved creating the animal characters there. Sir Walton is a personal favorite … 
Do you identify with any of your characters? 
           Herman and Tortuga are essentially a part of myself. And I believe, in some way, they are a part of all of us. The part of us that doesn't quite believe we are capable or deserving of our dreams. They are both facing difficulties with their self-confidence, they are a little bit shy and quite sensitive. Both are capable of so much more than they think and they both have hearts of gold. They just need a little push to help them believe in themselves, and through their partnership they are able to give one another that. Throughout their journey together and the challenges they face, they learn to believe in themselves and become who they are meant to be. I felt I was growing with Herman and Tortuga as I was writing the story, facing my own challenges and difficulties along the way.
What is next up for you? 
            I am working on a second book as we speak. It's going to focus more on a few characters in Magical Shades of Blue and develop them further. There will be new villains, characters, a new challenge and many new adventures! 

Your Favorites: 
Color? 
            Blue! All different magical shades of it! 
Music? 
             I'm quite eclectic with music. I like jazz, blues and rock a lot. I always have Miles Davis on my ipod
Author/book? 
            It's always so difficult to name a favorite in terms of writers … as I have so many! Books also tend to remind one of a time in their life and that adds a lot to the experience. If I were stranded on a deserted island and had to take only one book with me it might have to be, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I've read it twenty times and it's always entertaining, and I really love the characters. I also have the greatest memories of reading it with my mother and brother when I was younger.
 Character?
           I really like The BFG, Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter.  
Food? 
          I'll never turn down sushi ... 
Anything else you would like to share about yourself? 
             I've been an avid reader and writer for as long as I can remember. Books have been companions, teachers and much more in my life. I hope to give the same sense of adventure, curiosity, heart and friendship in my stories that my favorite authors have provided for me and so many others. A portion of the proceeds from every sale of Magical Shades of Blue is working towards the creation of a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting literacy and environmental education among young readers. It will be a community that young readers worldwide can be a part of and a place they can exchange ideas about writing and environmental conservation. A place to provide support, encouragement and a sense of belonging. 
How can people contact you? 
            The fastest way would be via my website at http://www.wdtuck.com
I have a contact page on my site that links directly to my email. Depending on the amount of mail I receive it may take a little time for a response, but I ALWAYS respond. 
Any final thoughts you would like to share?
             To all writers young and old alike, I wish you the best of luck in pushing hesitation and trepidation aside as you tell your stories! Protect and pursue your dreams, thanks for taking the plunge with us in Magical Shades of Blue and best wishes to you all.

Ok so now for the Great Giveaway.  W.D. has been very gracious and is giving away 4 signed copies of his books which will be sent out sometime in August.  To enter all you have to do is fill out this FORM.   The giveaway will end on August 1st!  I will post the winners during that week...Good Luck to everyone!!  And thanks again W.D.  it has been a pleasure reading your book and doing the interview!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Magical Shades of Blue W.D. Tuck


W.D. Tuck had approached me on reviewing his children's book.  I had read the blurb and was excited about it.  The lessons in the story line are valuable to not only children but adults.  As I read I not only seen lessons about taking care of the environment and what destruction humans do, but also lessons in friendship, poaching, and compassion for others. They were subtle hints but stood out to me, and only added to the story. 

I am a big kid at heart, and this appealed to that side of me.  The storytelling held my attention, even at an older age.  The world that W.D. has created is great, and for children isn't fun to learn from something other than adults?  He had animals that talked and related their stories about how humans have changed their world.  Also the Wave Warriors were a nice touch, especially since I hadn't encountered anything like it in my reading.

I enjoyed the character developments as well...not all of the characters are exactly what they appear to be and as you see how they get from being this way to being something else.  There are a few characters that do not change but they still play their roles exactly as they are expected to.

Overall I love this book for children and feel that adults will get enjoyment out of it too, so I give it my LOVE IT rating!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Interview with L.A. Jones

I like to thank L.A. for doing an interview for her book Tales of Aradia: the Last Witch. So without further ado:


Where did the idea for Tales of Aradia come from?  
It came from numerous things. I have always wondered what it would be like to write a book. In the beginning urban fantasy has always been my genre. But I was talking to my Dad once and he is into non-fiction so needless to say fantasy is hard for him to get into. So I thought to myself how can I bridge this gap so I base Tales of Aradia on a lot of issues we deal with such as growing up, bullying, the insecurity that comes with being adopted, politics, prejudice, and dealing with women in power.  

What challenges did you come across when writing the book?  
Promoting and the fact that I have no money. I know I should hire an editor, but most editors cost a lot of money so there is no way I can afford it. But most of all promoting my book and getting people to buy it.  

What was the easiest part to write?  
None of it was really easy. I have to keep my stories original, go over it a thousand times, and pour a lot of my soul and emotion into it. So much so that editing becomes hard for me.  

Do you identify with any of your characters?  
Of course. I always base my main characters on myself. Either personality or in looks. Most especially, I make redheads the main characters because there are not enough redheaded main characters in literature. In case you are wondering my answer is yes I am a redhead.   

What is next up for you?  
Once I sell enough of my books and earned enough money I plan to hire an editor.  

Your Favorites:  
Color?

Purple. It is the color of royalty after all.  


Music? 
Pop, dance, rock, hip-hop, and jazz.  


Author/book? 
War of Art by Steven Pressfield  


Character? 
Matilda from Roald Dahl.  


Food? 
I hate to say this and I am trying to give it up but McDonalds.  

Anything else you would like to share about yourself?  
I have Aspergers Syndrome. My ultimate goal in life is to have my writing be a positive influence to people. Most of all, I want to be an advocate for people with Aspergers.  

How can people contact you?  
My email is Lajonestheauthor@Gmail.com  

Any final thoughts you would like to share?  
I wish readers could keep an open mind. Many times I have been forced to read bestsellers in English class, which I consider very shoddy and yet because my writing lacks good grammar and punctuation people classify as garbage. I welcome criticism though it helps to know what I should do and how I can improve.  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Epic Giveaway on In which Ems reviews books

A good friend of mine has hit 100 followers and giving away 4 prize packs..so seriously go check her out HERE.  She does great reviews and is totally worth it I promise!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tales of Aradia: The Last Witch #1 L. A. Jones


I enjoyed this book, overall.  Aradia is entertaining to me...she is a teenager and has all the sass and fire that comes with it.  She also stands by what she feels is right.  She does make mistakes, but seriously what teenager doesn't make mistakes.  Obviously she has special powers, but it is something she always knew about so it wasn't like it appeared out of nowhere.  She also had learned a few lessons the hard way about her powers, however it had taught her to control them.  She is a great character, and her relationship with the other characters are great as well.

The story line is great, I love that Aradia doesn't really know what she is and slowly finds out about the vampires, werewolves, and fae slowly..after all it would be too much of a shock to find out about all of them at once.  She does notice somethings but when it all comes together she isn't totally freaked out.  Although considering she knows she isn't normal, her reactions are probably more appropriate than what a non-paranormal person should be.

With that being said there is a point when it became a little too much like Twilight, romance wise.  Jones makes a joke out of it, but that is when it became painfully obvious and it detracted from the story a bit for me.  I think if she didn't joke about it I probably would have never noticed it.   Don't get me wrong I don't hate Twilight, but I didn't want to see parallels to it.  However the story does redeem itself and my disappointment didn't last as long as it could have.

This is the first book in a series, and it does end on a cliffhanger to get the readers looking forward to the next one(s).  Overall I give this my Pretty Good rating.

 


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Interview with J.O. Jones



Thanks J.O. for allowing me to read The Septavalent Stone and for doing a guest post/interview!  If you haven't read my review you can go HERE to check it out! I will let you start first J.O.


The Septavalent Stone is a young adult novel set in two countries, Nigeria and Ukraine. It's about a boy called Andrew, who has a mother who is paranoid about almost everything including her brother Uncle Jeffery, and who is also not as normal as other mothers are. He gains admission into a medical school in Ukraine but on getting there, he discovers it's not just a medical school, it's actually a medico-magical school where all sorts of creatures are treated, and where ghosts are kept dead and unhealthily healthy. As the story unfolds, Andrew discovers new secrets about his family and himself, he also discovers a cousin he never knew existed, and realizes that there is more to his mother's lies and paranoia than meets the eyes. 


Where did the idea for The Septavalent Stone come from?
Initially the book was an escape for me after a friend of mine really did something horrible to me. It was like a diary or something, then somehow, as I realized that it was possible to get something published, I began to carve a story out of the journal I was keeping. As I got over the painful incident, the story began to take another direction till it finally reached a point where I gave it its name, THE SEPTAVALENT STONE. I think the fact that I was studying medicine and I was around specimens a lot, contributed to the story.


What challenges did you come across when writing the book?
The challenges, hmm. Well the challenges were mostly getting dibs on using the computer to type since it is only one computer in the house and I live with two other roommates. Another challenge was deciding what to put and remove and I think that's the problem with knowing too much about your characters and story. 


What was the easiest part to write?
I can't say any of the chapters were easy to write, a lot I wrote four times, some I wrote five,and a few I had to edit like hell. What I would say however is that I enjoyed writing these following chapters the most, A HUMBLED ELDER, THE THREE FRIENDS, and THE BROKEN DOOR ROOM. 


Do you identify with any of your characters?
No I don't identify with any of them, but you might suspect that the character with a hill top afro is me because I am keeping one, but no. I do not identify with any of them, I think it is kind of unhealthy because I might be biased, for example I would like a character I identify with to have twenty seven sets of abs, a pair of shiny and razor sharp wings, and a face that make both women and men drool, and you can see how physically inaccurate that is, except you go to Andrew's school then a few of the final year surgeons could fix you up with that.


What is next up for you?
I have another book which I might go back to, about an African superstitious belief. The story is set in another exotic country (which I might change). Right now I can't say more, anything can happen. 


Your Favorites:
Color?
My favorite color is Black


Music?
I love Lil Wayne, Beyonce, Lily Allen and of course Chris Brown cos he rocks. 


Author/book?
Favorite author: Chimaamanda Adichie
Favourite Book: Half Of a Yellow sun. 


Food?
An African delicacy called Eba and Ogbono soup, you can find this on youtube just search for African okra soup. It's really tasty. 


Anything else you would like to share about yourself?
My Hobby: I am a really good cook when I am not writing. 
Something about me I hate: I care too much, wish I was more carefree. 
Movies. Pirates of the carribean 4: The water scene freaked me out


How can people contact you?
Talk to me on Twitter @jacobolisajones 
Talk to me on Facebook: J.O Jones fan page 
Visit my blog: http://theseven-piecestone.blogspot.com 


Any final thoughts you would like to share?
No matter how many bad things people say about you or your work, all it takes to make those thousand bad things right is that one person that truly and genuinely loves you, your work or whatever, and truly appreciates it.


Thanks again for everything J.O.!!  I know I enjoyed the book and encourage you to check it out!!

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