Sunday, December 14, 2014

Soulwoven: Exile

Soulwoven:Exile is the continuing story of Litnig, Cole, Dil, Ryse and Quay. The story picks up right where the first ended. The group is trying to come to grips with the horror of losing Len and releasing Sherduan, a dragon of darkness and shadows, onto the world. 

The group breaks up and goes into different directions. Heading into the unknown to prepare the world for the darkness that is about to sweep it away. Ryse and Quay head towards Eldan to warn them of the danger. Dil and Cole find themselves as ambassadors. to the scary Pyrelle who hopes to lure the dragon with their presence. Litnig follows a beautiful woman into the wild  in order to learn more about himself and his race. 

This book is much darker then the previous novel as it's really about feeling torn down and how to rebuild yourself into a better version of yourself rather then let the darkness consume you. But even among all this darkness is the thought of redemption. Finding actions or learning to help make up for the mistakes of the past, learning to be better. I loved this book and the hope that lay between the lines.

Ryse and Quay find themselves in a dark place. Literally raped and broken. However the topic is handled with compassion and grace. I really felt the author captured the horror and helplessness of the situation as well as the strength it takes to rebuild yourself afterwards. It's hard to see characters you care about go through something so painful but it was handled really well with Ryse. Unfortunately, for me, Quay's story didn't really pick up much after the rape but I look forward to seeing how he moves forward. It took Ryse some very dramatic events to find the strength to move forward and I am excited to see how Quay handles the same sort of abuse. 

I would definitely say that this book is all about growth as well as learning to accept yourself for who you are, flaws/darkness and all. I really liked seeing the transition of this book from the first book as the threat of Sherduan becomes ever closing. 

Jeff Seymour captures the horror and brillance of the human spirit and makes you hunger for the next book!!! I definitely recommend this to anyone looking to get into a new epic story! 

Grab your copy at Amazon here!

You can also find out more about this great author

Friday, December 12, 2014

Guest Post by the Indomitable Jeff Seymour

The amazing sequel to Jeff Seymour's comes out today and I am lucky enough to share his words with you. Hopefully he forgives my inexperience in matters of guest posts and what not! When I had the chance to ask him anything I sadly could only think to ask how he came with the idea for the Soulwoven series and how he used Kickstarter to further his dreams of getting the story published. I feel so privileged that I actually got to speak with him. So here are his words! And look for my review of Soulwoven :Exile on Sunday!!

Soulwoven was conceived in the back of a school bus.

Racy, huh? The gestation period was pretty long though. It took more than ten years for the book to grow from a little blastocyst of an idea about a hero, his brother, and their friends into a story capable of eating, drinking, and breathing on its own.

Man, this birth thing is a better metaphor than I thought it’d be.

Anyway, the book (and its sequel, Soulwoven: Exile, out 12/12/2014), is primarily about identity, in no small part because it was conceived during years when I was actively forming mine. Every major character in the story loses something that anchors his or her identity, and the human element of the narrative (it’s also got dragons and magic and plenty of flash-bang-whiz) is about each of them trying to either reclaim it or replace it.

After all, that’s what drew me to fantasy. Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII) and Tanis Half-Elven (Dragonlance: Chronicles) gave me examples of people who were kind of like me struggling with their identities at a time when I really needed them, and I wanted to pass on the favor to a new generation of readers.

I've also learned, now that I’m older, that you never really stop forming and re-forming your identity. Or at least I haven’t yet, and even my 92-year-old grandmother’s not done. So I think stories about identity have value no matter your age or station in life.

Which brings me, in a roundabout way, to the role of Kickstarter in Soulwoven’s life.

It was the midwife, really.

In 2012, after years of trying to get published traditionally, I embraced a shift in my identity as a writer and dove into the indie thing. Soulwoven was featured by, and it got enough interest there that I decided it was worth publishing on my own. I was leery of committing a lot of money to it (because I didn't have a lot of money to commit), so I turned to Kickstarter for help.

And Kickstarter was great. Eighty people contributed more than $3,000 to make publishing the book possible. That was all I needed. Eighty people. Try approaching a publisher with a manuscript and asking them for a $3,000 investment on the guarantee you’ll sell eighty books. See what happens.

Soulwoven launched quietly. It’s been a modest success commercially, about on par with what I would've expected if it had been published by a small press.

But artistically, it’s been a huge success. I've grown as a writer because I put out that novel, Soulwoven: Exile has benefited enormously from that growth. Not many writers are excited about seeing the first reviews come in for a new book. It’s supposed to be a terrifying experience.

It isn't for me.

Soulwoven was conceived in the back of a school bus. It was birthed with the help of a small community of wonderful people. It’s growing into something wonderful.

And I couldn't be a prouder papa.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Curse Defiers (Curse Keeper Series, book 3)

The Curse Defiers is the third novel in this series. Originally I thought it was going to be a trilogy ... I think the author may have thought so too actually. But this impressive story can't be held to only three books!

We are plunged back into the story as if only a few weeks has passed since the end of the last novel. You are immediately drawn back into the story as you are reunited with Ellie. Ellie is still torn between the two men in her life, Patrick, the level headed professor and Collin, the dangerous bad boy who owns her soul but not her trust. On top of this her best friend is pulling away from her and so is her step mother. 

The stakes have never been higher as the spirits finally have regained some of their strength and have started going after people. Especially the Crow spirits who have the police knocking on Ellie's door trying to figure out exactly what's happening. 

When the unthinkable happens Ellie only has Collin to turn to. Can she trust the man who has betrayed her and withheld information at every turn? Does she really have a choice? To save the people she loves and hopefully put an end to the spirits rampage Ellie and Collin will have to take a chance on each other to face the darkness one more time! 

Such a great serious! If you enjoy urban fantasy then this is definitely a series that you should be checking out! It's filled with great details and blends an incident in history with an intriguing story! The mystery of Roanoke has haunted our imaginations for over a hundred years. Who's to say that this isn't a viable option?

The characters are believable and funny which I always enjoy! And personally I am team Ellie and Colin! Tell me below if you are Team Colin or Team Patrick! 

Grab the book here!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bring a Child to a Bookstore Day! Guest Post by Jenny Milchman

Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day
How to Build Literacy, Support Community, & Make Magic Happen
All in One Day

In 2010 I had two young children whom I was bringing to story hour at our local bookstore almost every week. After all, what better activity to do with kids? It was enriching, fun, even relaxing. I didn’t have to feel guilty when I drank that 700 calorie butterscotch latte from the coffee bar. I was running back and forth between adult fiction and the flower-flocked children’s section—working off the calories for sure.

My kids probably didn’t realize it was as much of a treat for me as for them. Which started me thinking—were other parents in on this secret? How many children knew the pleasure of spending time in a bookstore?

I frequent the mystery listserv, DorothyL, and a more avid group of readers you couldn’t hope to find. When I floated the idea for Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, bloggers on the listserv spread the word. My husband designed a poster, a website, and bookmarks, and we designated the first Saturday in December as Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. This would coincide with holiday gift giving, hopefully giving people the idea that books make great presents. Just two weeks later, 80 bookstores were celebrating.

That summer my husband and I loaded the kids into the car and drove cross-country, visiting more than fifty bookstores. (You can tell he’s a supportive guy). In 2011, the second annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day found over 350 bookstores celebrating in all 50 states. Some planned special celebrations—children’s book authors, puppet makers, singers, even a baker who led kids in a gingerbread cookie decorating activity—while others simply hung a poster in the window. When 2013 came around, and the number had risen to over 600 independent bookstores, and one major chain, we knew that word was getting out. Kids + bookstores = magic.

And maybe something even more than that.

There’s a cultural wave behind Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. The word locavore isn’t just for a Dr. Seuss story anymore. Supporting your local community and the resurgence of Main Street are goals that more and more people recognize as important to build strong citizens as well as strong readers.

You know that old ad campaign, “Orange juice isn’t just for breakfast anymore”? I hear that now as, “Bookstores aren’t just for reading anymore.”

And by that I mean more than the fact that you can also buy toys, cards, gifts, or have your butterscotch latte at a bookstore. Bookstores are places where people come together over ideas and engage in a cultural conversation. That concept is so important I have to say it again. They are places where people come together. And booksellers are a group who know how to zig while others are zagging, so impassioned are they by their life’s pursuit. Their stores are places of physical interaction in an increasingly virtual world.

When you take a child to a bookstore, you stimulate his mind and all five senses. (If taste seems a stretch, just let her have the whipped cream on your latte). There’s a tactile dimension to the experience that seems rare these days. You also make that child a crucial part of the place where he lives, supporting it and helping it grow.

Best of all, these things happen in a guise that to the child is sheer magic. On the shelves of a bookstore sit gateways into whole new worlds. Children go into bookstores—but they come back out having journeyed somewhere else entirely.

This Saturday, December 6, 2014 is the fifth annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. Whether you take your own child, a child you know, or the child inside yourself to a bookstore, together let’s build literacy, support community, and make magic happen.

Jenny Milchman is a suspense novelist and mom from the Hudson River Valley who once drove past Disney with her children en route to the nearest bookstore.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Home Shopping Diva

After reading this I have decided that when I grow up, part of me wants to be Meg Flather. Home Shopping Diva is a stirring look at fighting for your dreams. Sometimes it's the small acts of courage that help you dream a little bigger. I really got that feeling from this book. 

The story is really just about Meg and all the different roads that she took to reach her goal. She was never afraid to make the decision to change if it would make things better for her. And sometimes change is so hard! But every step took her closer and closer to her dream.

In between each chapter are the lyrics to songs that she wrote. They were beautiful and touching. I couldn't wait to play the CD that came with the copy of the book and I was definitely not disappointed! She was definitely a cabaret singer and I could practically picture the 1940's lounge that meshed with her soulful styling. 

Such a great light and uplifting read! I would recommend this book to everyone who wanted some inspiration to fight for their dreams! Especially if they also loved make up! :)

Here is the link to her author page if you want to learn more about Meg Flather!

Amazon of course the link to buy the book on Amazon!

And the link to pick up her amazing cd's!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Anni Moon and the Elemental Artifact

Anni is just a young girl trying to figure out her place in a world gone topsy turvy. Her guardian went missing years ago but her saving grace was her best friend Lexi. Now even she has gone missing and there are weird creatures and a place in the sky! A strange world filled with voices in her head and something called a rat bat .... and most mysteriously of all .... Elementals. 

This book is adorable! It is definitely better for younger readers, probably under the age of 14. It's a cute quick read though for any adult looking for something adorable and fluffy. The action is fairly well paced and the language is descriptive while still being accessible for younger readers! 

I really loved the way the author painted pictures with her words. I thought it was interesting and inventive. I am actually kind of hoping that she will come out with something for older readers now!