Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mini Book Reviews: The Body At The Tower & Fury of The Phoenix

This is another colourful, action-packed Victorian detective novel about the exploits of agent Mary Quinn. At a young age, Mary Quinn is rescued from the gallows and taken to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. The school turns out to be a front for a private detective agency. At age 17, Mary takes on her first case (A Spy in the House). In this, the second book of the series, Mary Quinn sets out to uncover the truth behind a suspicious death at St. Stephen's Tower, better known as the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament. The accident occurred after hours in a highly public part of town and despite the presence of night watchmen. Mary, disguised as Mark Quinn, becomes a builder's assistant to find out the truth about the body at the tower.

The Body At The Tower
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 344 (paperback)
Part of Series: The Agency #2
Purchased: Bought
Rating: 4/5 stars
Buy: Book Depository || Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK)

Have i tell you how much i love The Agency books?! I really love mysteries, with murders, etc and The Agency books are exactly that, YA style. The Body At The Tower, was even better than the previous. It was more serious, more dangerous and with more secrets. It took me in from the first chapter. And Mary of course, proves once again what an awesome heroine she is. Strong(in her own way), clever, sympathetic. While she tries, to understand herself better and forget her past, now she has to play a role which remind her all of those things. I love how i see her grow as character, even more in each book. As for those who want some romance..heh..a small surprise from the previous book comes back. You know what i'm talking about ^^ 
I recommend the book to everyone who like mysteries,historical fiction and YA. Also, if you haven't read the 1st book no worries. The book is written in a way, you can keep up with the story with no problem without reading A Spy In The House.

 Cindy Pon’s debut novel Silver Phoenix was called “fluid and exhilarating” in a starred review from Booklist, and Meg Cabot called it “an addictive gem.” In this companion novel, seventeen-year-old Ai Ling—her powers stronger than ever—stows away aboard a cargo ship in order to protect devastatingly handsome Chen Yong during his quest to locate his father. Masquerading as brother and sister, Ai Ling and Chen Yong face demonic predators on the ocean voyage, but their biggest threat comes from the kingdom of the dead. Part supernatural page-turner, part love story, and altogether stirring, Fury of the Phoenix further heralds the arrival of Cindy Pon as a stellar author of paranormal romance and fantasy.

Fury of the Phoenix
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 368 (ebook)
Part of Series: Kingdom of Xia #2
Purchased: Bought
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Buy: Book Depository || Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK)

I remember reading Silver Phoenix and how much i like the whole Japanese theme of the book. Fury of the Phoenix, was better. There were certain things i liked more about it like the absence of the weird creatures which i couldn't create well in my mind(like many anime have), the relationship between Ai Ling and Chen Yong, the "dreams" of Ai Ling and most importantly the world. I felt like Cindy Pon's ideas and writing was clearer and more comfortable. It was like she had her ideas better in her mind and i could understand and get into her world easier. There wasn't much action and adventure, as at Silver Phoenix but it had something more appealing to me. It took me just some hours to finish it.
I can't say everyone will like it, but for those who have read the 1st in the series i'm pretty sure they will enjoy it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Book Review: Mark of the Princess (The Kingdom Chronicles)

The feisty and determined fearie Princess Alannah is many things, but she never thought she would be the key to her people's destruction.

Kidnapped for a power she does not yet possess, Alannah finds herself in the clutches of the most malevolent sorserer of her time, Maligo. Alannah escapes her prison with help from the handsome and stalwart warrior fearie, Brennus.

Now she must cross mountains and forests fraught with rogue fearies, vicious Fea-hating trolls, dangerous shape-shifters, and more to reach the only ones that can help her control her incoming powers. The Elder Fearies.
With Brennus by her side, Alannah is determined to reach the Elder Fearies and save her people. Maligo is just determined she never makes it that far....

Mark Of The Princess
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 204 (ebook)
Part of Series: The Kingdom Chronicles #1
Purchased: For Review by the author
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Buy:  Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK)

When I first saw the book, I knew I had to have it, or at least read it. I fall in love with the cover and I have to admit, I've never read a fea story before. So when I asked Boss, aka Yiota, she was kind enough to provide a copy for me.

Good things: The story flows. It has rich vocabulary, almost poetic but not difficult at all, it actually reminded me of all the synomys I was learning last year, most of which I've already forgot. The book was balanced. Kissing scenes are passionate, fighting scenes are anxious. The author doesn't stay long in scenes, they are small and with meaning. I liked that there were scenes with concern parents, they looked more real. And I liked all the characters. They weren't spoiled or selfish, even though most of them were royalty. Even the parents, who were supposed to be Kings and Queens were kind and natural.

Bad things: There weren't many bad things. Firstly, there is a love triangle. I think that it was meaningless and that it only adds another problem in Alannah's life. I guess it's understandable, since Alannah's character changes after her abduction comparing to the one she had before. My second problem was that there were not a clear view of the fearies. True, the author gives a very good picture of how the Five Kingdoms rule and what kind of powers each has and she's giving you a historical event at the end of the book that explains a lot, but untill this moment, I have no idea if the fearies' wings look like the ones of a butterfly, a dragon fly, or just a fly.

The end was surprising and it leaves you with many questions, some of which you had at the beggining of the book. I wasn't expecting of Brennus origin at all, and you don't learn much about Alannah's powers or Evyette's past. Actually, the end seemed like the end of an episode in a TV series, and all you have to do is keep patient untill the next week's episode, only here we have a book.

Bottom line, I liked it and enjoyed it. It was easy to read, I mean, I knew who the apprentice was long before it's been told in the book. But I recommend it to you. It loses half point, because of the love triangle, but you don't have to care too much, because there are other more important problems to care about in the book.

Guestpost: Mary Pauline Lowry

Mary Pauline Lowry has worked as a forest firefighter, construction worker, open water lifeguard, and advocate in the movement to end violence against women.
She currently works as a novelist, screenwriter, and regular contributor to the Huffington Post.

How was your journey from when you started writing the book until the book was published?

I started writing THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE on a trip to London to go to my friend Jenny’s wedding. I knew there was going to be a river raft trip in the book, so I thought when I returned to the U.S. from England I would drive from my hometown of Austin, TX to Colorado and get a job as a river raft guide. I’m naturally very adventurous, so I thought it would be fun to learn about river rafting by actually doing it.

Once I was back in Texas I threw my tent and my sleeping bag in my car and drove to Southwest Colorado. But because there was a bad drought, the rivers were really low and I couldn’t get a job as a river raft guide. Instead I found work as an apprentice carpenter. My boss was a giant Viking of a man named David, who believes women should have a chance to learn construction.

I rented a basement room at the Desert Rose Horse Ranch. Every day I would wake up at dawn to write for a couple of hours and then I would drive into Durango to do carpentry work all day. David and I usually worked outside in the cold; it was hard work, but fun and we always talked a lot about books and movies and art.

About the time I finished the first draft of THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE, I started working at a domestic violence shelter where women and children who had been abused could go to stay safe and get back on their feet. Over the next few years I spent time on and off revising THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE, and I eventually moved back to Austin.

The first novel I ever wrote is called THE GODS OF FIRE. It’s based on my experiences as a forest firefighter. It still hasn’t been released, but when I was revising THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE, THE GODS OF FIRE was optioned for film and I wrote the screenplay. The movie is now in pre-production.

And now THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE is finally being published. All I’ve ever wanted was to be a novelist, but during my journey along the way I’ve done all these other things to support myself while I was writing.

I really believe that women and girls should have a chance to make art, have adventures and really live life fully. I hope that both my novel THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE and my own experiences will inspire other people to take risks themselves.

The Earthquake Machine

The book every girl should read,
and every girl’s parents hope she’ll never read.

 The Earthquake Machine, a fun, fantastical and exhilarating tale, explodes the distinction between Young Adult and adult coming-of-age novels, even as it explores the borders between the United States and Mexico, adolescence and adulthood, male and female, English and Spanish.

The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda’s world, but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda’s life is her family’s Mexican yardman, Jesús. But when the INS deports Jesús back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation.

Determined to find her friend Jésus, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends to Big Bend National Park. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Milagros, Mexico. There a peyote- addled bartender convinces her she won’t be safe traveling alone into the country’s interior. So with the bartender’s help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jesús. Thus begins a wild adventure that fulfills the longing of readers eager for a brave and brazen female protagonist.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Book Review: The Guardian's Wildchild

Caught in a reckless attempt to stop Dark forces, Sidney Davenport, a young, rule breaking, spirited member of the secret paranormal community of Guardians, finds herself imprisoned on a naval ship and slated for execution. Her struggle with the unfamiliar emotions of fear and anger becomes even more complicated when she can no longer fight her attraction to the very man who has orders to perform her execution.

Captain Sam Waterhouse, a meticulous naval captain who’s suspected of treason, teeters on a precipice between Darkness and Light. When he receives an unusual prisoner, a paranormal journey begins to unravel his disciplined life. All the while, humanity is unknowingly at great risk when two Dark forces team up to acquire control of an elusive power. Sidney and Sam attempt to quiet their powerful feelings for each other, only to discover they can save each other, and in doing so, they might even save the world.

Through stunning imagery, an intricate and adventurous plot, and a strong cast of characters, Feather Stone gives readers a fascinating glimpse into the future—a future that is chilling, yet full of hope.

The Guardian's Wildchild
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 288 (ebook)
Part of Series: -
Purchased: For Review by the author
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Buy:  Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK)

Oh my god!! No way i was expecting the book to be that good!  I loved it!

The book is written mainly with two first person POVs, of Sam and Sidney. It starts with a small introduction for both the characters and the stories, by showing you some important things in their past. While i usually i'm not fan of this method, it was written nicely and it actually fitted with the rest later. Another thing, that i really liked was how good the author had understand her ideas and what she wanted to say. Even though i did not agree in general with how the Guardian's weren't doing much and i usually i should have been mad, their ideas and beliefs were so perfectly described that actually convinced me that they were doing the right thing indeed. When you see, a world so well created and an author who knows exactly what's is going on, there is no doubt you will not love the story. Plus, who says no to some action, magic and romance eh?

As for the characters, both Sam and Sidney were loveable. Maybe you couldn't see yourself in them but you could understand them and respect them. Sidney is such a strong female character. And i don't see that because she is kind of awesome with her powers, but because of how is letting herself be killed for the higher good. She is kind but not naive. And while she over react sometimes, she will say no, understand her mistakes and learn from them.
As for Sam, even though he starts as a dark character for his reasons, i liked that even then he was a man of honor and justice. I could understand why his people respected him and like him. He was also the character who grown the most as a person. 

And is it bad that i like the stories, with the not perfect ending? 6-7 pages before it ended, i could see how it will finish. It made me sad, but it made sense. It only loses half star because, i just wanted to see more of Danik (Sidney's sister) who seemed like an amazing character and because it was predictable at times.

A great book, which is something adult and young adult. The only thing i want to add now is that i'm a really sad is a stand alone and that it doesn't exists at Americans!) printed to buy it for my bookcase.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Book Review: The New Death and others

Death gets a roommate...

An electronic Pope faces a difficult theological question...

A wicked vizier makes a terrible bargain...

44 stories. 19 poems. No whiny vampires. There's a thin line between genius and insanity, and James Hutchings has just crossed it - but from which direction?

The New Death and others
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 102 (ebook)
Part of Series: -
Purchased: For Review by the author
Rating: 3/5 stars
Buy:  Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK)

Want a book entirely different than the latest trends? The New Death is exactly that.

Small stories and poems regarding various things are part of the book. There are 2 paragraph stories to 2-3 pages stories. There is not a skeleton on the stories subject. They just appear. But most importantly the book is fun, ironic and sarcastic. From serious matters like death, to things we do every day, like our relationship with our phones, you can say there are stories for everything. There are also poems based on famous books or what about a poem on a cat?

As you see, the book is just so different than anything else.  My favorites ones were the small stories (which weren't more than one page). They were really fast, funny and thoughtful (My favorite one was "The End". I still laugh when i think of it). Then were some poems and then the stories. The stories with the gods(Death, Love, War,etc) were so great and so true!! My reactions to most of the book were like "hahahaa" and then " true though..clever".

 I won't say i liked all of the stories or poems, but definitely had an entertaining evening. And the book cost only $0.99, so why not? As for Mr. James Hutchings...i think he has gone a little over the insanity line :p

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Movie Review: Hugo

Hugo is an orphan boy living in the walls of a train station in the 1930s in Paris. He fixes clocks and other gadgets as he learned to from his father and uncle. The only thing that he has left that connects him to his father is an automaton that doesn't work; Hugo has to find its heart-shaped key. On his adventures, he meets with a cranky old man who works in the train station and his adventure-seeking god-daughter. Hugo finds that they have a surprising connection to his father and the automaton, and as he discovers it, the old man starts remembering his past and his significance to the world of film-making.

Released: 2011
Runtime: 127 mins
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Buy: Amazon (UK) || Amazon (US)

Hugo is one of the most well advertised movies of 2011 and already nominated for Golden Globes and Oscars. Except that, the trailer looks more than amazing and it totally makes you want to watch the movie.

I have to say i was a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, the graphics, the cinematography, the music is simply perfect. The whole movie is an wow from visual aspect even though i didn't watch the 3D version, which is been said it's one of the best out there. An amazing cast of known and unknown actors, are featured in the movie and all of them, with Ben Kingsley on top, did an amazing job. And the music fits so well every scene, that it totally brings it to life.

BUT, there were some things i need to mention. 1) The trailer is really misleading. It's too magical, and adventurous while the movie is quite slow and has a heavy feeling. Not exactly a happy movie. 2) The movie is supposed to be for kids, but i highly doubt they will enjoy it that much. Probably they will fall asleep. 3)It was a little confusing. The plot line felt a little dead to me, and it was after the first half that got me really interested. It was missing something. It had a beautiful message, but didn't catch my attention that much.It felt like doesn't have a purpose most of the time. It's not a movie, to watch a second time for sure. Too big, too slow, not much to keep you awake. Not really an adventure. Or better it's more of an adventure of mind, that what we have in mind as real adventure.

I mostly recommend the movie for everything else than the plotline. And  better watch in Blu-Ray. It will be beautiful.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Moview Review: Dead Poets Society

In a strict and traditional boarding school English professor John Keating inspires his students to a love of poetry and to seize the day. The lives of every student and their family are forever changed by this event, some of them for the better and some for the worst. Painfully shy Todd Anderson has been sent to the school where his popular older brother was valedictorian. His room-mate, Neil, although exceedingly bright and popular, is very much under the thumb of his overbearing father. The two, along with their other friends, meet Professor Keating, their new English teacher, who tells them of the Dead Poets Society, and encourages them to go against the status quo. Each, in their own way, does this, and are changed for life.

Dead Poets Society
Release Date: 9 June 1989
Duration: 128 mins
Rating: 5/5 stars
Buy: Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK)


This movie is believed to be one of the best movies ever filmed and I have to agree with that. I usually get bored with social movies but this one captivated my interest and kept me going for the whole duration. Even when it finished I wanted it to keep telling us the characters’ stories.

The movie is located in a boarding school, it is actually in eastern USA but the environment and the presence of Scottish elements makes the watcher think it is located in Scotland. The scenery is amazing, it has vast fields covered in snow, dark and misty forests and a very mystical Indian cave. Also I liked the school building but I think that about every boarding school with neoclassical elements so I am not so objective XD

The acting is at least above average and some of the characters are just perfect. I especially liked Robin Williams as John Keating and Robert Sean Leonard as Neil Perry. But also the “bad guy” Dylan Kussman as Richard Cameron. The characters were awesome, I think every teacher, professor, sensei, shifu whatever you call it, should watch very carefully John Keating and try to be like him.

The plot of this movie is not very clear from the beginning, at least to me it wasn’t, because, I think, we are used to think that the main plot is about a character but in this movie it is not true. The “main character” here is the principle of free thinking and free will itself. The movie does follow the lives of the members of the dead poet society but at the end of the day the plot is all about freedom and that is what made it stand out for me. It shows both the greatness of what free thinking can achieve and the grief and horror that oppression can produce. Aside from that this movie made me start to enjoy poems, I know it sounds weak but it did, just like blues brothers made me love the old rock/blues music.

To sum up I have only one thing that I can say : “Oh captain, my captain !”.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book Review: Crater Lake (Battle For Wizard Island)

While visiting his crazy Uncle Bart at Crater Lake National Park, thirteen-year-old Ethan's world collapses when all the adults at Crater Lake disappear, including his parents. Now Ethan must rally his new friends and decipher the legends of Crater Lake to find the key to rescuing his parents from their earthen prison before he's captured too and their captivity becomes permanent.

Crater Lake
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 256 (ebook)
Part of Series:  #1
Purchased: For Review by netgalley
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Buy: Book Depository || Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK)

5 kids? An adventure? Magic? This is so me for many reasons, and that's exactly what i got it. The cover only, promise you a wild adventure.

Steve Westover's writing can be called captivating. The world he created is amazingly described and really alive. The mixing of magic in our world, with native americans, and kids trying to save the "world" was done incredibly well and believable. And that's exactly what hold you into the book. Not that the story, is not good! Is quite interesting actually with many surprises now and there, and twists but the images created by the author were the ones that stayed mostly in my head.

Also, instead of having one kid to handle everything, you have a whole team of teens with everyone be as important as the other. I always prefer stories with more than one characters as protagonists because it feels more real. When someone magical happen, and problems appear it's better for me to have a team of friends than one person. It's more believable on the matter, of how things can be handled, and more close to the reality. 
The characters are not extraordinary but are likeable. It's easy for you to see the story through their eyes and i enjoyed how their relationships change. Especially, between Ethan and Jordan, who are brother and sister.

Even though the book seems more appropriate for kids, i enjoyed it. And i think that is an adventure that any adult can read too. It totally reminded me all those old movies, i was watching when younger, with kids running around and having fun through danger and friendship.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Author Interview: Steve Westover

My first novel, DEFENSIVE TACTICS was published by Cedar Fort in August of 2010. This FBI thriller is light and fun, but will also raises meaningful questions for the reader to consider.

My second novel, CRATER LAKE: BATTLE FOR WIZARD ISLAND will be released in March 2012. Crater Lake is mid-grade fantasy set at the pristine Crater Lake in Oregon. Though it is written for a younger audience, readers of all ages will enjoy it. 


-Try to describe your book in one sentence.

Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island is a middle-grade fantasy full of adventure, magic, spookiness and fun that kids and parents will enjoy together.

-Your genre in Crater Lake is YA Fantasy right?. You did that on purpose, or you just start writing? What inspired you to write, you took any ideas from other books, movies etc?

I knew I wanted to write an outdoorsy/camping kind of book inspired by my adventures camping and hiking in the Oregon mountains as a kid. I started with the basic question, “What would happen if all the adults at Crater Lake disappeared?” and I started writing. As I considered possible answers to the question I found myself drawn to the fantastical answers and ultimately I knew, based on the location of Crater Lake and the legends of the area that this books was meant to be a fun fantasy. I think everything we read and watch is mashed up in our brain somewhere and comes out in different ways when we write, but my real focus was writing a Fablehaven type book my kids would love.

-Did you do any research before start or during of the writing of the books?

I knew the book was going to be set in the Oregon Mountains but I didn’t know where exactly so I started researching locations. When I was reminded of Crater Lake, I knew I had to write about it. I researched the legends, the plant & animal life, history, topography etc. which was really important because I’ve never been to Crater Lake. I studied many pictures and videos so I could get a good feel for the location and breathtaking views. This summer I plan to take my family to Crater Lake when I take my family on vacation to Oregon.

-Which scenes were the hardest to write?

I usually have to work hardest at expressing the emotions of the characters. So in scenes where traumatic things happen, like when Ethan’s and Allies parents are sucked into the ground, I had to work to capture the shocked sorrow they were feeling.

-How long has it taken you to write a book ?

I wrote the rough draft of Crater Lake in about 3 months but then I worked on revisions, off and on, for another year. Crater Lake is my second published book and I have finished manuscripts for two others and I’ve found that the timing varies widely for completion.

-What’s the best part of writing for you?

I love imagining the world that is being created and finding out what the characters will do when facing obstacles. So far I have not outlined my books before writing as I prefer writing to see what happens. If I want to know what happens next, I have to write it and sometimes I’m just as surprised as the reader. After all, I was the first reader.

-Are you reading or writing something else at the moment?

I have recently finished a sequel to my first novel, Defensive Tactics, which is a light FBI thriller. I have a contract now for the sequel but I don’t have a scheduled release date yet. I’ve also recently finished a young adult dystopian novel in the tradition of Hunger Games and 1984.

-Did you have support at the beginning and/or during your writing?

My wife and 13 year old daughter are my main supports and are very encouraging. Sometimes they push me to write faster because they’re excited to see what happens next.

-Did you always had in mind to be a writer or it just happened?

I’m a banker. I never planned on being a writer, though I now find it to be much more rewarding and interesting than my day job. I simply woke up one day a couple of years ago with a story in my mind. I told my wife about it and she encouraged me to write it down. I had no idea if I could write a novel or not, but I started and the result was Defensive Tactics.

-How important you find the communication between you and your readers? Do you reply to their messages or read their reviews?

It’s hard to explain how good it feels when someone says they read your book. It’s even better when they like it. It is wonderful to receive feedback from readers. My cousins daughter brought a book home from the school library one day and locked herself in her room. Her family tried to get her to come out for some family activities but she didn’t want to. When they asked what she was reading she showed them my book and they were all amazed. My cousin asked her if she knew the author was related and she had no idea. She just loved the book. That is VERY cool.

And absolutely, I respond to messages and I read the reviews. I can’t help it. I love to hear from readers.

-Are you working on any other projects except writing, right now?

I’m always busy with extra work, church and family activities, but writing is my ongoing project now. Hopefully Crater Lake will be successful so I can complete the next two books in the Crater Lake Trilogy.

-Something special you want to share with us?

I’m really excited about Crater Lake and I hope the readers love it and share it with their friends.

Now some simple questions and more fun^^

-Your favourite books and author?

I actually don’t read much. I probably shouldn’t admit that, but I enjoy books like The Hunger Games and the Maze Runner and I also love youth fantasy like the Percy Jackson books and Fablehaven
-Your favourite band/singer?
Of course I love the Beatles and other classics like James Taylor, but my kids get a kick out of my enjoyment of Lady Gaga and Adele. What can I say? The music is catchy.

-Twitter or Facebook?

I’m on Facebook and Twitter but I much prefer Facebook. I also have a Crater Lake page on Facebook some come find me.

-Favourite place in the world?


-Last movie you watched at the cinemas?

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

-The last book you’ve read?

Time Gangsters by Berin Stephens

-Have you ever googled yourself?

Yes. Apparently there is a famous DJ named Steve Westover and also a professional cycler. Kind of interesting.

-Writing, reading or hanging out with friends?

Hanging out with family! But when I really get cooking on a book, it’s hard to stop.

-If you wouldn’t be a writer, what you would be?

A banker, I guess. It’s not very interesting but a day job is important to pay the bills.

-And last one....printed or ebooks?

Printed. I like holding a book in my hands and there are few things as exciting as holding your own book in your hands. It’s awesome!

Thanks a lot for your interview :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Book Review: Swirls ( + Giveaway )

Sixteen-year-old Julia finds herself leaving her London life behind her to move with her parents to the Amazon jungle.
A native descendant, she becomes familiarized with her own roots for the first time in her life. However, she never imagines she is about to discover much more than her own past but also just how crowded our little planet is…

This is a present time sci-fi/ fantasy story about trust, friendship, love and self-discovery. This book falls into the category of YA fiction, though not unsuitable for younger readers.

Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 158 (ebook)
Part of Series: The Outsiders #1
Purchased: For Review by the author
Rating: 4/5 stars
Buy: Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK)

This one was an unexpected read, as i didn't know about the book before the author contacted me. And i am just so extremely happy that i got to read it.

To start from the author's writing was easy and light. It made the story flowing quickly but with enough descriptions and details to make it alive to your mind. The world that was created was really well described, and felt like the author had actually thought her story though before writing. One of the great things of the story was, how the whole thing stays a mystery for about half the book, but not in a frustrating way to make you to not know what you are reading. Instead there were little clues around and you actually get to meet the characters a lot before the really serious stuff starts.

The we have Julia which is a really cute character. She is funny,open minded and while things don't go her way she tries to find a way to make it through. Sometimes, she didn't see things that were in front of her but oh well...Maybe i could guess some because i was a reader.
There were many other characters of course like Lola, Yoji and Gabriel. The thing is i don't have something bad to say about anything on the characters part. I quite liked all of them for different reasons and i enjoyed all of their scenes.

Now, there are many people in other reviews that mention editing mistakes (like grammar, wrong words,etc). I don't know if they were corrected or it's because English it's not my native language and some mistakes are not easily seen by my eyes, but i didn't see something. What i advise you for that, is to check the LATEST reviews about the book from other people at Goodreads.

Swirls is interesting and quite different than many YA books out there in the aspect of story. It actually has an originality while it the core plays with the usual teenagers, magic, relationships, etc themes. From me: try it :)

-2 e-books of Swirls

Leave a comment at my review with your email :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

In My Mailbox - January 2012:Part II

In My Mailbox by The Story Siren

Part II: Nina's Mailbox
Bought         - Foursome by Jane Fallon
Bought         - Destined by P.C. & Kristin Cast
Bought         - One Day by David Nicholls
Bought         - Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poem
Bought         - Dream Dark by Garcia & Stohl
Bought         - To Καρφί από Σκάρφο & Ζαγκαρία

What's on your mailbox? Leave your links at the comments :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Author Interview: Tristan J.Tarwater (+Giveaway)

Tristan J Tarwater is the author of The Valley of Ten Crescents series, as well as several other stories that hope to see the light of day. Born and raised in New York City she remembers reading a lot, visiting Museums and the Aquarium frequently and wanting to be a writer from a very early age. Her love of fantasy and sci-fi spills over into what she reads and watches in her free time as well as the collection of dice, books and small metal figurines that reside in her home. She currently lives in Central California with her Admin, Small Boss, a cat that knows it’s a multipass and Azrael. Tristan J Tarwater is currently working on the final edits of her second book ‘Self-Made Scoundrel’.  


-Try to describe your book in one sentence.
Thieves at Heart is a coming of age story regarding a half elf girl, Tavera and her adopted father, Derk.

-Your genre in Thieves At Heart is Fantasy right? You did that on purpose, or you just start writing?
It was definitely a fantasy from the start. I came up with Tavera and well, half elves and fantasy go hand in hand.

-What inspired you to write, you took any ideas from other books, movies etc?
To write in general, I’ve always liked to write. I’ve written since I was a kid and love doing it. For Thieves at Heart and The Valley of Ten Crescents, I was inspired by a lot of the fantasy books I read as as kid and tabletop RPGs.

-Did you do any research before start or during of the writing of the books?
I did a lot of research while I was writing Thieves at Heart. I read up on lunar religions, oxbow lakes, cereal crops and farming, rabbits. I bought an almanac and read through it for farming information. I grew up in the city so farming is kind of like magic to me, heh.

-Which scenes were the hardest to write?
Oh man, I wrote Thieves at Heart so long ago...the last chapter was pretty hard to right. With good reason.

-How long has it taken you to write a book ?
When I originally wrote the series, I intended it to be one book, and the entire series took around three years to write, start to finish I would say. So, 200,000 words in three years? The original manuscript of Thieves at Heart was around 25,000 words and was boosted to around 45,000 in just a few months.

-What’s the best part of writing for you?
One is just the joy of telling a story. I love coming up with characters and telling their stories. It’s fun for me. I also like when I’ve entertained someone for a bit.

-Are you reading or writing something else at the moment?
I am working on the sequel to Thieves at Heart, ‘Self-Made Scoundrel.’ And as for reading, I’m trying to find time to read Future Lovecraft and a few other short novels. But I’m editing and working quite a bit, it’s hard to find time.

-Did you have support at the beginning and/or during your writing?
Oh, definitely. My spouse has always supported my writing and when I was writing in High School, my teachers encouraged me since it was probably the only thing I did that I did enthusiastically, heh. And my good friend read along the whole time. He was my first beta reader!

-Did you always had in mind to be a writer or it just happened?
I’ve always written and come up with stories. It’s something I love to do.

-How important you find the communication between you and your readers? Do you reply to their messages or read their reviews?
It’s really important! I definitely read my reviews to see what people say and to see what I need to improve, what people liked, etc. And I respond to every email I get because well, I can. Maybe not right away but I do try.

-Are you working on any other projects except writing, right now?
I’m writing for a gaming blog called Troll in the Corner. My main article is Reality Makes the Best Fantasy which is kind of a spotlight on things that do exist and how they can be adapted for an RPG. I just finished transcribing a webcomic called ‘Dissident Priest’ (NSFW) and I’m about to get started working on Rasputin Barxotka. I’m also organizing a bunch of indie creators in this kind of network. Oh man, it’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s fun! I’m meeting a lot of awesome people!

-Something special you want to share with us?
I would say, Just Try. Sitting on your hands doesn’t do anything except make your hands fall asleep. Whatever it is you want to do, try and keep trying. You only get better by doing. Give yourself the leeway to fail and just keep on. Zeal is important.

Now some simple questions and more fun^^

-Your favourite books and author? I love Philip K Dick and HP Lovecraft, Robert E Howard. Anything I’ve read of theirs I’ve loved.

-Your favourite band/singer? Well, I love Queen. I think they’re the best band ever and Freddie Mercury is a rock deity. And I do like Crass. But bands that are still making music, I really like The Black Heart Procession, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey, Blonde Redhead. Rock music.

-Twitter or Facebook? Twitter, by far. Definitely.

-Favourite place in the world? Probably Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area in Oregon.

-Last movie you watched at the cinemas? Sadly, Kung Fu Panda 2. I have a child and I don’t leave the house much. It was okay. The last movie I saw at home though was Chocolate, a Thai martial arts movie that was excellent.

-The last book you’ve read? Truthfully, ‘Gaspard and Lisa’s Rainy Day.’ To my daughter. She’s almost 5 and we read before bed so those have been the only books I’ve been able to finish. I’ve started a few but I’ve been having the problem of having so much work to do, if a book can’t hold my attention, I get back to work. Luckily Gaspard and Lisa books are awesome. Hilarious childhood shenanigans that are more honest than most.

-Have you ever googled yourself? Yes, actually! It’s kind of interesting to see.

-Writing, reading or hanging out with friends? That’s really hard to answer, wow. I’ve been really starved for hang outs with people as of late since we live far away from all my friends so that is tempting. But I really love writing and reading. If I pick incorrectly, will I get in trouble?! Oi. Um...I guess I would have to say writing! I have a lot of work to do!

-If you wouldn’t be a writer, what you would be? Maybe dead? Not myself Not to sound hyperbolic but writing, in addition to being entertaining for me is also kind of therapeutic. It keeps me sane. It’s very important to who I am as a person. Even if I had never gone the publishing route, I would be writing.

-And last one....printed or ebooks? As long as you’re reading, it doesn’t matter. It’s easier to amass virtual piles of ebooks. I think what’s most important is that people are reading and that information is transferred and preserved. Whether that be digitally or physically, lets hope it stands the test of time. And that the alien squid overlords don’t judge us all too harshly when they see what is popular.

Thanks for your taking some time to answer our questions! I so love your smile! You seem such a happy person ^^


-3 Winners: 1 Printed Copy & 2 Ebooks
-Deadline: Feb.29th, 2012
-You do NOT have to be a follower, but it's always appreciated.

Enter: Leave a comment for the author + your email!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mini Book Reviews from 2011: Wintercraft & Mistwood

Some point last year (around my exams) i managed to stay behind in many of my book reviews. While the ones that really stand out, i still remember and can review, some others i'm missing the details. I usually have a good memory but i've read over 100 books last year and watched over 100 movies too so i'm my brain can't really keep up with every single detail. But, i really want to share my thoughts on all those books, so i will do some smaller reviews. I will try to not let myself do it again but you never know....Has this ever happened to you or is just me? Cause i really can't write reviews when i'm not in mood.

The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood. But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat.

Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court... until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.

Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart... and everything she thought she knew.

Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 304 (paperback)
Part of Series: Mistwood #1
Purchased: Bought
Rating: 3/5 stars
Buy: Book Depository || Amazon (US)|| Amazon (UK)

REVIEW: This was a really fast read. Even though it's 300 pages i did finish it too fast. Maybe it was because the story was a moving on fast too. What really makes the book stand out it's the idea and the intrigue. The whole mystery around Isabel, the court life and Isabel's struggle on what she must and what she wants to do, are what make the book special and what keeps you turning pages on after the other til you reach the end.
I can't say the character's really stand out and be memorable. They are good for the story and that is all. You connect with them, understand them but after the story is done so are they. Need to mention though, that Isabel has a strong personality instead of the usual helpless girl, and that's one more plus to the book.
A light and easy read which is original but not that extraordinary. Great for a time's read, though it doesn't really make me want to read the other book which i believe doesn't have much connection with it anyway.

Ten years ago Kate Winters' parents were taken by the High Council's wardens to help with the country's war effort. Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane -- the High Council's most feared man -- recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council's experiments into the veil, and he's convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft -- a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft. To help Artemis, Edgar and herself, Kate must honour her pact with a murderer and come face to face with the true nature of death.
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 278 (paperback)
Part of Series: Wintercraft #1
Purchased: Bought
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Buy: Book Depository || Amazon (US)|| Amazon (UK)

REVIEW: Now that's a good one. Fantasy, magic, adventure, action! I really liked this one. Without being too tiring, it introduces you to a new fantasy and let you see its aspects little its each time. While it has the usual fantasy elements of a magic world, it has the steampunk element in too. Surprising i didn't mind it but i have to admit that it's presence made the story better. It fitted so well.
There is a lot of hunting around, secrets and dark magic in this one too. It creates a very gothic atmosphere and actually made me shiver from time to time.
Another strong aspect are it's secondary characters who for me were way better than Kate. While Kate is the usual girl who doesn't have an idea (she is not annoying or cry-baby though), Silas and Artemis have both a quite interesting part which you learn through the story. Especially Silas is quite fascinating and really scary at times.
The story is more than promising and i have a feeling i would like the next book even more. Definitely worth your time if you are up for some fantasy not regarding demons, angels, vampires, werewolves, etc.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mini Series Review: Lost In Austen

After a dispute with her boyfriend, Amanda lands in the 19th-century world of author Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. While helping the Bennet sisters find husbands, Amanda accidentally causes problems that could alter the course of the tale. Throughout this British series, Amanda must balance her feelings for Mr. Darcy (Elliot Cowan) with her responsibility to the one of the world's greatest love stories. Jemima Rooper stars.

Lost In Austen
Released: 2008
Runtime: 4 episodes/45mins each
Rating: 4/5 stars
Buy: Amazon (UK) || Amazon (US)

Yesterday i reviewed Austenland by Shannon Hale, so i'm really in mood to review even more Austen related work. But this time i'm here with a Mini Series that i found by accident.

I really had doubts about this one, and it took me some time to actually convince myself to watch it. But when i started with the 1st episode i just couldn't just and so i sat there and watched all 2 & half hours of it.

The best thing about it so how unbelievably funny and true is it. Amanda goes into Pride & Prejudice 's world while Jane comes to ours. Amanda has serious problem to adapt though. At first, she almost gets every single thing wrong. From how she is dressed to how she acts. And not just that, but due time she sees that not everything is as described by Austen, with slightly changes to the story (i liked how the authors even make jokes on their changes and how Austen would fell about them) and she change it too. You can imagine what a mess all this can be.

For mini series it's also really well done. The cast is really good in acting and really into their roles. Some were known and some unknown to me, but all of them were really great and took me right into the story.
The clothes, the directing it's also good enough. Don't expect a high class production like the 2005 Pride & Prejudice but it's more than acceptable for tv. It was actually surprisingly good.

Bottom line, you don't need to be an Austen fan to like it. It's for everyone and it can easily entertain you.And it's definitely as heavy as the usual Austen movies. Personally, i can even watch it more than once easily.

Cast: Jamina Rooper (The Black Daliah), Elliot Cowan ( The Golden Compass), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Alex Kingston (Doctor Who), Morven Christie (Young Victoria),Christina Cole (Casino Royale), Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia),Lindsay Duncan(Alice in Wonderland),  Michelle Duncan (Atonement)

Book Review: Austenland

A big success in hardcover, this novel by New York Times bestselling author of Princess Academy is sure to find a new and substantial audience in paperback.
Jane is a young New York woman who can never seem to find the right man—perhaps because of her secret obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. When a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-obsessed women, however, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become more real than she ever could have imagined. Is this total immersion in a fake Austenland enough to make Jane kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 208 (paperback)
Part of Series: -
Purchased: Bought
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Buy: Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK)

I think that's probably the first book, played in our time and connected to Austen that i've ever read. And even though i have Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, it's also the first book by the author i read.

Austenland is a really small and light read. It might be Austen related but has nothing to do on the matter of writing like Austen.It's simpler but still has its own magic.
It keeps the romance but it's more real. And at the same time, it's so funny. I mean Star Wars reference in an Austen related book? Unbelievable but fitted so well. It wasn'ts few the times i was giggling or laughing with Jane.

It shows how the romance of that time is most times now, but doesn't destroy it either. And it does make a really good point, that some times we might fall in love with a book but we wouldn't really like it if were to get live in that world. Because let's say the truth...could we really in Austen's world? Were women didn't have the freedom we have, wore those heavy dress, with no technology to spent our time? Yeah...i think most of us, just love the world from away. At least i understand it, when i read it Austenland, because i felt exactly how Jane felt.

That to say, i really connected with Jane even though she was older than me. Her thoughts and concerns reached my easily and it helped me more to get in the story. She might let herself falls easily from time to time, but she doesn't act stupidly and doesn't see what she does wrong. I liked how she grew though the whole story but she didn't forget what her love for Austen either.

Entertaining, fast paced and perfect if you want a stand alone novel for a day's break.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Follower Love Giveaway Hop

 Reckoning by Lili St.Crow

The electric finale in New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow's Strange Angels series!

Nobody expected Dru Anderson to survive this long. Not Graves. Not Christophe. Not even Dru. She's battled killer zombies, jealous djamphirs, and bloodthirsty suckers straight out of her worst nightmares. But now that Dru has bloomed into a full-fledged svetocha - rare, beautiful, and toxic to all vampires - the worst is yet to come.

Because getting out alive is going to cost more than she's ever imagined. And in the end, is survival really worth the sacrifice?


-You MUST be a follower
-Extra entry available
-Giveaway Policy


Sunday, February 5, 2012

In My Mailbox - January 2012: Part I

In My Mailbox by The Story Siren

The mailbox includes all the books (not digital copies) we got each month.

Part I: Yiota's Mailbox
Via Giftcard - Seizure by Kathy Reichs
Won             -  The Name of the Star by Maureen
Gift              -  Allegiance by Kayla Cluver
Won             -  Geek Girl by Cindy C.Bennett
Via Giftcard - Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
Via Giftcard - The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima
Won             - Farsighted by Emlyn Chand
For Review  - Slipstream by Michael Offutt
Bought         - Bleach Vol.4-5-6 by Tite Kubo

Bought         - Piratica by Tanith Lee
Bought         - City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman
Via Giftcard - Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey - 2nd copy for giveaway
Via Giftcard - Reckoning by Lili St.Crow - 2nd copy for giveaway

Bought         -Myth & Magic by John Howe
Bought         -The Lord Of The Rings: The Official Movie Guide

Bought        - The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

What about your mailbox? Leave your links at the comments ^^

Friday, February 3, 2012

Author Interview: Resa Nelson (+Giveaway)

Resa has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop.

Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Her first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was Recommended for the Nebula Award, the highest honor in science fiction and fantasy. It was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in a 4-book series. Book 2, The Iron Maiden, is scheduled for publication on December 13, 2011. Book 3 is scheduled for publication in 2012.

Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star reivew.


-Try to describe your book in one sentence.

The Dragonslayer’s Sword is about a female blacksmith who lives in a world of ghosts, shapeshifters, and dragons and who makes swords for dragonslayers.

-Your genre in The Dragonslayer Series is Fantasy right?. You did that on purpose, or you just start writing?

Yes, I’d say it’s epic fantasy with a female hero. I’ve been selling short stories for many years, and The Dragonslayer’s Sword started out as a short story that was published in Science Fiction Age magazine. The reader response to the short story was so strong that I decided to turn it into a novel. (My short story ranked 2nd in the magazine’s Top Ten Readers Poll, coming ahead of stories by Ben Bova, Lawrence Watt-Evans, and Tom Disch. Also, the magazine editor got a letter from a bookstore manager saying that people kept asking to buy the novel – and I’d only written the short story!) Once I started writing the novel, I realized there was so much going on that I couldn’t fit it all in one book, so it turned into a series. I ended up writing a second Dragonslayer short story (also published in Science Fiction Age magazine), and I’ve put together a free “mini” ebook containing the two short stories that inspired my book series. Anyone who would like to read these short stories can download a PDF file called “Dragonslayer Stories” from my website at (There’s no cost or obligation, and I don’t collect email addresses or any other type of information. I like giving away free samples so readers can decide for themselves whether they like my work or not.)

-What inspired you to write, you took any ideas from other books, movies etc?

My ideas come from my life experience and how I see the world. For example, I wrote the short story version of The Dragonslayer’s Sword after I had a bad experience when I was working at a company where a high-ranking executive (a married man with young children) propositioned me. This hurt my feelings deeply because I thought we were good colleagues. I work really hard to be as original as possible. In fact, I read outside my genre because I don’t want to be influenced by other fantasy books. However, I do watch reality TV for inspiration about the different ways people make assumptions and jump to conclusions, especially with regard to how they perceive other people.

-Did you do any research before start or during of the writing of the books?

Yes! I’m a huge fan of research. For example, for my Dragonslayer series, I started out doing lots of library research. But because my main character is a woman who becomes a blacksmith, I decided to take a course in blacksmithing. I was the only woman in the course, and all my classmates were twice my size so everything was much easier for them. I had to learn how to keep up with the men, and that went a long way toward influencing the development of my main character. Also, because my female blacksmith makes weapons for dragonslayers, I wanted to learn how to use medieval weapons. I discovered that a museum not too far from where I live gives courses in historically accurate ways to use medieval and Renaissance weapons. I took several courses and learned how to use the German long sword, Italian rapier and dagger, and some techniques for using daggers, halberd, and sword and buckler. I’ve also had a little exposure to using Viking sword and shield. I joined the museum’s sword guild, and I became a weapons demonstrator at the museum for several years! All of this experience has had a huge impact on my Dragonslayer series.

-Which scenes were the hardest to write?

Probably the scenes where I tap into difficult or painful memories. As a writer, I feel it’s my responsibility to give my absolute best to readers at all times, and sometimes that means making myself very vulnerable. Taking that kind of risk is the hardest thing.

-How long has it taken you to write a book ?

I spend lots of time (often several years) thinking before I start writing. I tell people it’s as if I’ve gone on vacation and when I start writing it’s like I’m telling friends what happened when I went on vacation. For some peculiar reason, once I start writing it typically takes about 9 months to write a novel!

-What’s the best part of writing for you?

I love writing the first draft. It’s like going on an amazing adventure. It feels like sitting in a dark movie theater and watching a movie and sinking into that world, except I’m creating everything.

-Are you reading or writing something else at the moment?

I’m reading a little bit. I’m writing the final section of the last novel in the Dragonslayer series, which I’m both happy and sad about. Sad because I’ve spent a lot of years with these characters and I hate to say goodby to them. Happy because I’m really looking forward to starting something new. I’m in the thinking stage for my next series and am working to figure out how it’s going to work.

-Did you have support at the beginning and/or during your writing?

I’ve been lucky to always have at least one friend who believes in me. I’m very fortunate that I’m at a point in my career where I’m in an excellent critique group and get a lot of support from my fellow writers, who are brilliant and extremely talented.

-Did you always had in mind to be a writer or it just happened?

I knew I wanted to be a writer by the time I was 8 years old. I tried giving up writing many times because I knew it would be a challenging life, but my writing is like a best friend who refuses to give up on me. So I’ve learned not to give up on my writing.

-How important you find the communication between you and your readers? Do you reply to their messages or read their reviews?

Communication with my readers is critically important. My readers have solved huge problems for me. They give me invaluable feedback and information. They tell me things that spark ideas. The name of Book 2 came about because a friend who reads my books said, “Hey, you should call your next book The Iron Maiden,” and I loved the title even though I had no idea what it would mean. I’ve created characters inspired by readers I’ve met. When I meet people with interesting names that I especially like, I ask if I can name a character after them. I’ve created scenes based on feedback readers have given to me. I absolutely read all reviews, and to the best of my knowledge I’ve replied to all email from my readers.

-Are you working on any other projects except writing, right now?

I really enjoy creating my own book trailers and putting them on YouTube. I’ve also done author readings (reading the first chapter of a book), which are on YouTube. In the past, I’ve worked with actors to create character interviews, but I recently created my first traditional book trailer, which I really enjoyed.

-Something special you want to share with us?

My favorite TV series of all time is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I have the series on DVD and will probably remain obsessed with it for the rest of my life.

Now some simple questions and more fun^^

-Your favourite books and author?

Right now my favorite authors are Harlan Coben and Dennis Lahane, and I love the Millennium books by Steig Larrson. When I was a child, my favorite authors were Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I still read their work from time to time.

-Your favourite band/singer?

I miss Amy Winehouse.

-Twitter or Facebook?

Both, although I’m beginning to lean more toward Twitter.

-Favourite place in the world?

What a difficult question! I love Cairo and the pyramids of Giza – Egypt feels like home. For sheer beauty and a feeling of other-worldliness, Machu Picchu in Peru. I’d love to live in Copenhagen, London, or Barcelona. Or anywhere in Hawaii. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but after watching Lost (which was shot in Hawaii) I’m convinced I need to live there.

-Last movie you watched at the cinemas?

We Bought A Zoo – loved it.

-The last book you’ve read?

I’m currently reading A Celtic Darkness: Supernatural Tales of Ireland by Eoghain Hamilton. It’s a collection of literary ghost stories set in Ireland.

-Have you ever googled yourself?

I have Google set up to notify me automatically whenever it finds my name or the title of any of my novels. It’s a great way to find out when someone reviews my books.

-Writing, reading or hanging out with friends?

I’m split pretty evenly among all three options.

-If you wouldn’t be a writer, what you would be?

Maybe an editor at a publishing house. Or a travel agent. Or someone who raises abandoned baby polar bears.

-And last one....printed or ebooks?

Currently, printed. Although I do have Kindle for PC and love that I now have a way to buy and read books that are available only in ebook format.

Thanks so much for answering our questions! :D

For Astrid, a blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers, the emergence of a strange gemstone from her body sets in motion a chain of events that threaten to destroy her life. Her happiness is shattered when her lover-the dragonslayer-disappears without a trace, and the life that she knows and loves implodes without warning. Astrid lives in a world of shapeshifters whose thoughts have the power to change not only themselves but others. Everything Astrid knows to be true is called into question when she learns the truth about her past and the mysterious family from which she was separated as a child. Reality turns inside out as Astrid gradually learns the truth about the people she loves as well as those she disdains. With the fate of dragons, ghosts, and slaves in foreign lands resting on her shoulders, Astrid faces the challenge of deciding who she is and how she will stand up inside her own skin. Will she withdraw and hide from the world that has disappointed her so much...or will she rise to lead others to freedom and peace?

A mini e-book for everyone with short stories from The Dragonslayers Series! I don't know about you but i'm totally downloading XD
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