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Saturday, April 27, 2013

GHB Tours Blog Stop: Born in Flames

Born in Flames
Candace Knobel
Published: September 2012

Red mirrored scales race up my arms as the haze of pain blurs my vision. My bones crack, breaking to realign. I scream. It is then that the realization of my unavoidable fate sinks in; I am of a dying race. I am dragon.

Aurora Megalos, orphaned and teetering on the edge of adulthood, thought finding her past would curb the sting of being an outcast. Having no memories of the time before she awoke on her foster mother’s doorstep, she yearns for the emptiness inside her to be filled. With her fellow orphaned best friend, Fenn, by her side, she has nothing to lose and everything to gain. But something powerful stirred within her that she couldn’t explain. Something wanted out.

In the dark of night, a crazed Seer, dubbed Mr.Creepy, erases everything she’s ever known with an impending prophecy. She now faces two paths. Return to her true home to protect a dying race against a growing evil, or stay hidden in the safety of our realm with a shot at a true love. With a vengeful Arch Enemy stopping at nothing to see her dead, she’s running out of time; a decision must be made. What would you choose?

I will begin by saying thank you to Ms. Knoebel for allowing me the opportunity of reading her story.  And then thank you to Girls Heart Books Tours for allowing me once more to participate in the fantastic tour.  This will be a completely spoiler free review because quite frankly it should be read. ^_^

I haven’t read many modern day dragon books.  Other than one other actually I’ve not really found them to be as on par as other paranormal books.  However, always willing to try something before knocking it I decided to read this one as well.  And I’m so very happy I did.  

From the first page we dive into the story of Rory and Fenn.  And I do mean literally dive.  There’s no long winded back story or monologue.  From the start the book is ripped with action.  

The characters themselves feel very carefully thought out.  They were well developed and even some of the side characters have this feeling of completeness about them that’s rare in most books.  It’s almost as if every character gets their ten seconds of fame.  It was really quite refreshing. 

As noted briefly above, the story moves.  From the first pages to the last the activity is riveting.  Saying “I’m just going to read one more chapter” isn’t feasible with this book.  It must be read at once or the suspense of what’s happening next will be murderous. 

Overall I enjoyed the book.  It was well written and fast paced.  The characters are a world of their own and the plot is unique in its style.  I would definitely recommend this for all readers of paranormal. 

My Rating:

Blog Tour Stop - Daughters of the Sea Author Interview

Once you’ve been touched by darkness, it never leaves you…

Abandoned by her parents as an infant; seventeen year old Hannah spent her childhood wading through countless foster families until being adopted by the Whitmans three years ago.

Unfortunately, Atlanta’s high society wasn’t quite ready for Hannah…or the strange events that plague her.
Chilling visions of murder, unexplained hallucinations, and a dark, mysterious guy who haunts her nightmares all culminate to set in motion a journey of self-discovery that will challenge everything she’s ever believed; not to mention her sanity.

Sent to live at The House of Lorelei on Bald Head Island, NC for ‘kids like her’, Hannah quickly realizes things are not what they seem. Her fellow ‘disturbed’ teens are actually the descendents of mythical Sea Gods and Goddesses. And so is she.

But when Finn, the ghost from her dreams, appears in the flesh; her nightmares become reality and her dark visions begin coming true. Inexplicably drawn to him, she can’t deny the dangerous hold he has on her heart. The deadly secrets he harbors will ultimately test her courage and push the boundaries of her love.

She must decide if she is ready to embrace the ancient legend she is prophesied to be a part of. The fate of all the descendents will forever depend upon it.

The sacrifices we make have the power to shift the very fabric of who we are, and ultimately who we are meant to be…

After learning of her true destiny as the intended Leader of the Tydes, Anastasia Whitman must now embark on a perilous quest to the Underworld before the age of eighteen in order to plant the seed of immortality and complete her essence to become a true Sea Goddess. But before she can make her legendary journey, an unexpected new student transfers to Lorelei; initiating a sequence of events that will unravel Stasia’s new life, and test the boundaries of her relationship with the mysterious, dark, and sexy Finn Morrison. The line between the Underworld and the Living begins to blur as gruesome ghosts, morbid reveries, and pure evil haunt her waking hours as well as her sanity. Once the details of Finn’s own startling destiny are revealed, the dangerous secrets he’s been hiding will threaten the very love Stasia believed to be indestructible. As time begins to run out, she will be forced to choose between the one she loves and the destiny she cannot escape.

The essence of who we are lies not in what we have, but in what we are willing to give up. Because in the end, Time and Tide wait for no one.

After sacrificing all that she had, the evil princess of the Underworld is still successful in her bid to tear Finn from Stasia’s life. In the midst of her search to reclaim him, Stasia is summoned to the island nation of Cyprus to take part in an age-old ritual; unveiling the missing pieces of her ancestry and re-igniting an ancient war. As she struggles to both save Finn’s soul and free Carmen’s mind, Stasia’s bravery and determination will be pushed to its breaking point. A dark storm is forming on the horizon, and the forces who are vying to destroy her may be much closer than she thinks. Destiny weaves a sticky web of evil, betrayal, and revenge that can only be undone by the purity of love and the soul’s unyielding will to survive. In the last installment of the Daughters of the Sea trilogy, the past will collide with the present as Stasia’s future hangs in the balance. The prophecy that paved the way for her new life may indeed be the very thing that strips her of the ones she loves the most.

About The Author:

I am a southern belle at heart with a crazy streak that desperately tries to escape at every opportunity. I love all things nostalgic, rustic, and quirky. I've been told I see the world through rose-colored glasses, but I prefer to think of them as kaleidoscope glasses - swirling and morphing reality into something I can digest (who hasn't pretended those pasty lima beans were really kiwi strawberry jelly beans?).

I am the author of the DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA trilogy, which includes FORSAKEN, AWAKEN, and CHOSEN (Winter 2012). I love all books, but really enjoy writing young adult, paranormal romances. I've loved to write for as long as I can remember. My first published work was my poem RED in second grade (you guessed it - it was a poem about the color red - life altering, I know) that won me 5 gold stars and a spot in my elementary school's poetry book. That's when my addiction to the written word officially began. I was the only kid in fifth grade that actually enjoyed diagramming sentences. Go ahead and laugh – it’s okay.

When I'm not writing I'm making jewelry, painting, drinking sweet tea, watching the discovery channel, or going on random adventures in the mountains of North Carolina with my amazing husband. I graduated from Appalachian State University and dream of becoming a full time novelist.

Author Links:  
Website / Twitter / Goodreads

We had an opportunity to ask a few questions to the author that she was kind enough to answer.  Here they are. ^_^

Hi Kristen, thanks very much for doing this interview with me!

Thank you so much for having me!!  I’m so glad I could stop by and chat for a while!

Can you tell us a little background to yourself and why you started writing?  I grew up in North Carolina; falling in love with reading, honeysuckles, and pixie sticks.  I went on to graduate from Appalachian State University before moving to Mooresville, NC where I live with my husband in our haunted (definitely haunted) 1949 home.  I started writing to make sense of my feelings and experiences, but I quickly fell in love with and the power a couple of words could hold.  Words were my magic trick.  I could create anything I wanted!

Do you have a specific writing style?
Writing style…hmmm…  I have a habit of ‘creative regurgitation’ where I lose myself in my novel’s world and just allow the words flow.  I try not to force words - they have a life of their own and aren’t keen on being hurried.  That’s usually just my cue to take a nap.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding time to do things like eating, sleeping, and bathing.  When I’m in the middle of writing a novel, I can’t think of anything else!  It consumes me and frees me in a way that I never want it to end. Who needs nourishment when you have an imaginary world at your fingertips?

What books have most influenced your life? I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember, but poetry has had the biggest influence on me.  The ability to say so much with so little words is astounding and inspiring.  I’ve always been able to lose myself in poetry and books and the fact that it was a safe place for me to feel and deal with the things happening around me gave me an insight on the power of words.  Although I loved the Shel Silversteins and Robert Frosts of the world, there was one author who I connected with on many levels.  Sylvia Plath was able to give life to the demons and thoughts that tormented her - she’s dark but tender, tormented but curious, scared but strong, and I think that obvious contrast is what drew me to her.

If you had to choose, which author (if any) would you consider a mentor? I believe writers are simply another version of ‘artist’.  We create with words instead of paint.  Our stories can be interpreted many ways just like an abstract painting or a piano solo.  All artists have two things in common: we create and we make others feel.  With that said, my mentor isn’t a writer at all - he’s an artist, chef, painter, musician, and all around free spirit.  It’s my older brother Richard who showed me to really live, you have to take risks, fight for who you are, and chase your dreams no matter what.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Where do I begin?  Amy Bartol, Emma Hart, Kendare Blake, Aimee Carter, and Raine Thomas to name a few!

What are you reading now? Right now I’m reading Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi which is the sequel to Under the Never Sky.  It’s an amazing YA dystopian series that I can’t get enough of!

Do you have any advice for other writers?  You write because you have something to say, so don’t ever be afraid to say it!!  Write until your fingers turn blue, write until your head spins and your keyboard bleeds - but most importantly…just write!

Thank you again! I'm certainly going to have to look into some of that. ^_^ It's wonderful being able to get some insight to the author.

 Giiveaway Info-
Author is giving away:
A Finn necklace (picture available)
an ebook set of the entire trilogy
signed paperback set of the entire trilogy

Rafflecopter Code:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Girls Heart Books Blog Tour Stop: Gemini of Emreiana by Kristen DaRay

Gemini of Emreiana 
Author: Kristen DaRay

My entire life has been a lie: My parents didn't die in a car accident. They're not even dead. I'm not American. I'm not even human. I have strange powers, and I'm the heir to the throne of the planet Emreiana.

If I take the crown, I have to leave behind everything I have known here on Earth. I would have to say goodbye to my friends and leave behind Kyle, the boy I've loved since I was five. If I don't, then I risk the Bremoir finding me here on Earth and destroying everything I love.

First as always thank you Kristen DaRay for allowing me the privilege of reading and thank you Girls Heart Books for allowing me to participate.  Secondly I have to apologize as this review is going to be kind of short as I am also in the middle of fast drafting. ^_^ With that being said I’m going to jump right into the meat and potatoes of this. 

This book is an awesome read.  The environments are so vivid and realistic yet original and (in special circumstances that I’m not going to spoil) believable without question.  The author does a fantastic job of making the reader believe they are present in the book.  

The characters are also well thought out and well developed.  As a reader sometimes it’s hard to find the connecting point to be able to empathize with the character but that issue is not present here. Every character has their quirks and they were just as real as the environment they moved through. 

The story is pretty fast paced.  I at least could not put it down.  Each scene leads into the next in a constant flow that it makes it impossible to say to self just one more chapter. There are a couple of missing factors that I’m sure will be clarified in editions to come but otherwise there were no confounding moments or huge plot holes to drive a reader mad. 

My Rating: