Saturday, May 31, 2014

Author Interview with Jamie Brazil

Hello folks,

I've spouted a bunch of questions at author Jamie Brazil and wow! She was cool to answer them!! Amazing lady, really.

So, just like you, I'm cozing up to read her answers. Enjoy!

Me: What's the scariest thing you've ever done?
The scariest is the also the most fun. And I like to do this every weekend through the spring and summer. Garage Sales. I love shopping the sales, but seriously, I've wound up in a couple dicey situations because of them. The scariest was an antique dealer screaming at me because I bought something he wanted. He followed me out to my car. Luckily, I had my husband with me!

Me: What experience of yours relates to a scene in your book?
This is sort of embarassing, but the opeing scene of Oni the Lonely starts with Mari sprouting horns and claws during her driving test... and totally failing! While I have yet to relate to the horns and claws issue, I have failed at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Multiple times!

Me: Who was the first person to ever read your work?
Mom <3

Me: How do you take your coffee?
With a splash of coconut creamer.

Me: How did your life as a writer begin?
With a restaurant review – I earned free fish burgers for my entire family! Sometimes I wish I'd framed one of them to hang on the wall.
Me: Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline, or are you more of a seat on your pants type of a writer?
Both! Outlining helps me stay on track. My husband is a screenwriter and many screenwriters are strict outliners. But I must say, when the cat's away the mice are pansters! That's the most fun,when you don't know what a character is going to do or say.
Me: What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
Hands down, it's the scene where Mari says goodbye to her parents, not knowing if she'll ever see them again. We're all totally flawed and brilliantly unique in our own ways, so as Mari reflects on her 16 years of life and what her parents have meant to her, it's actually the small stuff that has the greatest meaning – even annoying quirks become touchstones.
Me: What is your most interesting writing quirk?
My best writing is done when my Bloodhound sleeps on my feet.
Me: What is your usual writing routine?
I'm a morning writer. Usually at the keys at 6 a.m. Except when there are garage sales!
Me: Of course, the garage sales! What is the highest goal that you desire to meet as an author?
With the world and publishing changing everyday my only goal is to write well. With luck and practice some entertainng stories will hopefully emerge. Though I wouldn't say "no" to any big paychecks.
Me: Why do you write?
I can't help it. I've tried not to write. And then I'm horrible to live with. You can ask my husband! Writing is my way of processing the world. It's also my way of rewriting the world as I'd like it to be.

Me: The best book you've ever read?
House of Mirth.
Me: How often do you visit the library? The book store?
Lately, I've been reading everything off my smart phone.
Me: What's the last book you bought? Have you read it yet?
Wonderfully Wicked by C.J. Burright. It comes out soon and I can't wait to read it.

Me: What's the pet of your dreams?
I already have her. Frankie Rose the Bloodhound. She even has her own Kindle book, The Wisdom of the Buddhist Bloodhound
Me: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Are you kidding? One thing? That's just cruel. I'd like to work out daily, drop twenty pounds, settle on a hair color, add perfect highlights to that, write more, spend more time with girlfriends, lobby to have a National Shopping Day, speak a second language and learn to cook. I'd also like some world travel thrown in!

Me: Five deserts that make your mouth water.
Any combination of the three main food groups: chocolate, peanut butter and coconut.

Me: Oh yeah, the MAIN foodgroups. :) What's the most complicated meal you've ever cooked?
My husband does all the cooking in our house. But that doesn't mean I don't get to suggest meals. One of my favorite creations is Diamond Head Bread. That's an artisian spelt-flour banana loaf with finely chopped dried mangos, papayas and pineapple with macadamia nuts. It's really good.

Me: What are you wearing right at this moment?
Pajamas.
Me: Where are you right now?
At my desk, the sun is about to set, my Bloodhound is gnawing on a pork chewie and stinking up the room.
Me: What do you think is the most important thing in life?
Respect. Most of us never get or give enough of it. Even to ourselves. If we treat ourselves with respect, then it's easier to give it to others.

Me: Well put, lady! What's the best thing that could happen to you on an isolated island?
Zac Efron. Shirtless. We'll start with that.
Me: I hope your husband isn't reading this then. *wink* If you could take a day off from your everyday life, where would you go?
That isolated island in the previous question!
Me: Um hmm. We all want our own isolated island it seems :) Thank you Jamie for being a guest at YA Story Teller! I had a great time!
Oh, these were amazing questions! Thank you for the opportunity to guest at your blog!
 About Jamie Brazil's newest book:

Title: Oni the Lonely
Genre: YA paranormal

Synopsis:


Mari Kato, 16, wants what everyone else her age wants: a driver's license. Too bad a family curse, passed on by her Japanese-born Buddhist dad, who claims to be thousands of years old, transforms Mari into a flesh-eating Oni demon when she feels frustrated (like every time she gets behind the wheel). But when her geologist mom moves their vegan-lifestyle-obsessed family to Rock Creek, Mari stumbles upon the gates of Hell and a mining company plundering its depths. Add in an evil cheerleader determined to steal Mari's first boyfriend and plunge the Earth into eternal darkness. Suddenly getting the keys to the car isn't as important as saving the world. Totally dealable... if she can find the courage to reveal her demon self.


The book can be found on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Oni-Lonely-Jamie-Brazil-ebook/dp/B00HVPQQQ4




Who is Jamie Brazil:


Jamie Brazil is a lifelong morning person who is happiest when the sun is rising. She met her husband at a writing conference in 2000 and they’ve penned books and screenplays together ever since. Jamie is one of the Janes of See Jane Publish and a regular contributor to Oregon Book Report.
When Jamie isn’t writing romance and adventure, she has worked on U.S.-based television productions with foreign film crews. Her most recent project, a 2013 documentary featuring famed enka vocalist Yashiro Aki for NHK television.
Musicals, character-driven fiction, and morning dew on her Bloodhound’s whiskers are three of Jamie’s favorite things.

http://jamiebrazil.com

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Book Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Synopsis:

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

NOTE: I received the eARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

White Hot Kiss, another one of JLA's books, had me stay up all night reading. It was incredible, accomplishing exactly what I had expected and nothing less - that is, making me pleasantly happy.

I enjoyed every single word, especially all the Roth moments (and no wonder, right?). I was on the verge of tears because of how things went down in the end. But then the last chapter... it certainly gave me hope. I'll definitely hold on to that hope and wait to see what will happen next!

Writing style:
Just like any other JLA novel, WHK was written in an intoxicatingly beautiful way. The author's style is clean and addicting.

Story line:
Layla has never been completely accepted by her adopted family because of her blood issues. She's half warden/ half demon and no one knows what to expect of her. But it gets worse when she's suddenly a target in a mysterious plot to release a brutal evil force on Earth. And let's not forget the handsome demon, Roth, who comes to her aid not once.

Themes:
-There's good in evil and vice versa;
-Sometimes we trust/distrust the wrong people;
-Love hits when most unexpected;
-Accepting who you truly are is the most important step in growing up

Characters:
*Layla: In Bitter Sweet Love, the prequel to this series, I had the impression that Layla's a fragile girl who could easily be broken. But in White Hot Kiss I didn't much see this side of her. Sure, she's not a fearless person, but she doesn't really like depending on others either. She goes alone tagging demons, for crying out loud! She isn't well equipped or trained to dispose of them, but she does alright. I like how she developed from a girl hung up on something she could never have, to a girl who likes to explore her options.

*Astaroth(Roth)was one hot piece of demon spawn. He treated Layla like no one else did (including Zayne)- like an equal. Like someone who should be trusted with the truth and with very important, human race saving stuff. He also helped her (and himself in the process) not to feel lonely, unloved and easily disposed of. Roth was cocky, sure, but he was really a marshmallow inside. What he did, the sacrifice and all... he was incredible! And let's not forget his super creepy (yet friendly) snake, Bambi.

*Zayne... well... I'm with mixed feelings about the dude. He's too weak to show he's attracted to Layla and too childish to keep a grudge in the worst possible moment. Not to mention how much I hated the way he treated Layla when Roth came in the picture. Seriously, just because he could never love her openly, she couldn't be with anyone else either? How dumb and selfish is that?

*Abbot, a dominant Alpha-male who only sees black and white, is the gargoyle clan leader. He's sort of color blind for all things demon related. The truth often must poke him in the eye for him to notice it. Still, he did adopt Layla and took care of her.

*Stacie was a good friend with good presence. She gave good advice from time to time but was also in need of some advice herself.

In conclusion:
I recommend White Hot Kiss for fans of YA paranormal romance books. It's a great joyride!

My rating is:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Author interview with Janeal Falor

Dear readers,


I'm not sure if you're familiar with the name Janeal Falor. It belongs to a talented young lady, who has accomplished quite a lot as a self-published author of Young Adult fantasy books. I became a fan of hers when I read her first book, You Are Mine (Mine #1), which captured me with its fluent writing style, deeply developed characters and intricately woven serious themes.

With her newest book now on the market, Mine To Spell (Mine #2), I asked Janeal to take some time off her writing and come meet some people here at YA Story Teller.


So, here she is! 







Me: Hi Janeal! I'm honored to have you stroll down the virtual corridors of my small public space.

Thank you so much for having me, Vanya!
 
Me: Pleasure is all mine. Random question: If you had a picture of someone in your wallet, who would it be?

My husband and three kids. Which is 4 someones, but they'd all be crammed in there, probably making some goofy face I taught them.


Me: No way. I thought you were around 20 years old! *shakes head in disbelief* Moving on. If you were given the chance to take the place of one Fairy Tale character, who would you choose?

I think I'd be the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. She's the one that makes dreams come true. How cool would that be to be the one to help people achieve their dreams? Or Mulan. She is one tough chick who goes to great lengths to protect her family. She rocks.

Me: The Fairy Godmother? You're weird. *wink* Where would a person find you usually? 


Playing with my kids or on my laptop in either my room or outside on my deck. I definitely won't be found cleaning unless things have gotten desperate.

Me: You crack me up! What makes you feel inspired to write?

Life is hard. It's a fact of being a person I think. But for me, a way to escape how hard things is to write and explore other worlds is very inspiring. Things are hard there too, but it's something I can get a break from at any time. Plus I have some measure of control, until my characters stop listening to me that is.

Me: What is the highest goal that you desire to meet as an author? 


I'm hoping to work very hard so that some day I will be able to support a family. It feels like a very far off dream, but I'm doing everything I can to make it happen, like writing more books! And if it never happens, at least I'm having a lot of fun trying.

Me: Fun is the keyword here. Any job should be fun. How often do you visit the library? The book store?

I go to the library at least once a week. It is one of my very favorite places. When I have a babysitter, I'll spend hours writing there. I also spend a lot of time finding new books to read. Libraries are seriously The Best.

Me: Which, in your opinion, is the best book to movie adaptation you've ever seen?

Hunger Games and Catching Fire are phenomenal. I think most the time books turn into horrible movies, but they nailed those two movies. I can't watch them without bawling.

Me: I must agree. I didn't enjoy the books, but the movies were well done. How long does it take you to fall in love with a book?


Usually I'll know within the first chapter or two. Occasionally a book will surprise me by taking longer, but the main character tends to make me fall in love or not right away.

Me: I think the same applies to most readers and that's a good thing. What are your favorite book genres.

YA Fantasy, YA Sci-fi, and Historical Romance.

Me: Five deserts that make your mouth water.


1 - German Chocolate Cake with Whipped Ganche and Caramel Pecan Frosting
2 - Caramels
3 - Samoa Cookies
4 - Ice Cream, though the flavor depends on my mood., likely something with chocolate and nuts
5 - Popcorn - either my husbands secret recipe, caramel corn, or covered in chocolate with pecans and crasins, again depending on my mood

And thanks, now I'm craving all 5 of these, lol.

Me: You're welcome! Except now my mouth is watering too! How about we turn to fruit you can't live without. 

 
Raspberries. So yummy! We have some raspberry plants and I always manage to eat them all before I can get any in the house.

Me: LOL! I love all kind of berries. Period. What are you wearing right at this moment?

Shorts - summer's definitely coming. And a light blue t-shirt I'll now have to throw away because I got this waterfall foam stuff all over it this morning. Go me! But at least my waterfall is almost ready to enjoy for the year.

Me: What do you think is the most important thing in life?

To stay true to what you feel strongly about, whatever that is.For me that means taking care of my family and loving them. That's my happiness and in turn, I hope it makes them happy too. 

Me:  Thank you so much for taking some time of your busy schedule, Janeal!

No problem! It's been a lot of fun!


A little about Janeal:

Amazon bestselling author Janeal Falor lives in Utah with her husband and three children. In her non-writing time she teaches her kids to make silly faces, cooks whatever strikes her fancy, and attempts to cultivate a garden even when half the things she plants die. When it's time for a break she can be found taking a scenic drive with her family or drinking hot chocolate.

More can be found at:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6950698.Janeal_Falor
Her website: http://janealfalor.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JanealFalor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Janeal-Falor-Author

And for those of you who want to read some quality YA fantasy, Janeal has offered 3 copies of any one of her books to 3 lucky winners. All you need to do is post a comment. That's it. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Book review: Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin

Summary:

What if your devastating break-up became this summer’s hit single? In this rock-and-roll retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, music can either bring you together or tear you apart.
At her dying mother’s request, Claire dumps Jared, the only boy she’s ever loved. Left with a broken family and a broken heart, Claire is furious when she discovers that her biggest regret became Jared’s big break. While Jared is catapulted into rock-star status, another piece of Claire’s heart crumbles every time his song plays on the radio.

The summer after her senior year, it’s been months since the big break-up, and Claire is just trying to keep her head down and make it through a tense trip to the beach with her family. But when Jared shows up, and old feelings reignite, can Claire and Jared let go of the past? Or will they be stuck singing the same old refrain?

NOTE: I received the eARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

When picking up this book, I didn't believe I'd end up liking it so much. At the time I felt like reading a contemporary romance, and this novel was my choice. Surprise, surprise! Another Little Piece of My Heart came to be a page-turner!

Writing style:
Intriguing, captivating, realistically written. Incredible fresh and out of the cliche zone.
There were a lot of scenes told as memories, as a fill-in-the-blanks kind of thing. I liked that.

Story line:
A year ago, Claire met Jared. They fell for each other, just as madly as a couple of teenagers can. They were happy together, until Claire's parents decided to step in between them. In present day, Claire tries to suppress her still lingering feelings as Jared enters her life again.

Themes:
- Sacrifice should be very well thought out, not decided on the spur of the moment.
- Usually, things are not as they seem.
- Everyone makes mistakes. Moreover, everyone is entitled to make mistakes.

Characters:
Claire is a very realistic, very vivid character who makes you think about the important things in life, just as they become more real for her. She grows a lot in the pages of this novel - from a girl who has everything - to a girl who thinks she has nothing - to a wise young woman who realizes that nothing in life is easy, but you still have to fight for it.

Jared is a character we barely see, but we know a lot about through Claire's thoughts and memories. Still, he feels real, His words, his actions remind me of how a real boy would be have out there in the real world.

April, Claire's little sister, was stubborn and selfish and most of the time tried to bend the rules so they fit her desires. Yet, in rare moments, she was also considerate and helpful. I suspect this is the kind of relationships a lot of sisters have.

Hannah and Lea, Claire's cousins, were weird and not really friendly. I couldn't believe Lea withheld a very important piece of information from Claire.

Claire & April's dad struck me as a selfish parent in the beginning. I was left with the impression that he couldn't care less about his daughters. But towards the end things changed, and I think I actually respected him.

In conclusion:
Another Little Piece of My Heart is a coming-of-age novel that deals with all those problems an adolescent girl goes through - parental issues, love troubles, finding out who you are in the world. It's a very good read and I can easily recommend it.

My rating is:

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Book Review: Cutlass by Ashley Nixon

Synopsis:

Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy's fiancĂ© seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.

Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.

But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.


NOTE: I received a review copy via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

Cutlass had a wonderful premise that grabbed my attention right away. No wonder I found myself contacting the author and requesting a review copy. Having a story revolving around pirates and their adventures at sea was what won me over.

It was quite unfortunate that the story wasn't written in the most hooking way. I was largely disappointed with both the writing and the characters.

Writing style:
The story was told from several POV's, all in third person. Sometimes it took a while to figure out whose viewpoint I was reading at the moment, which was confusing and frustrating. The writing style was at times too descriptive and overbearing.

Story line:
In general, I liked the plot of this story and how it progressed. However, there were too many loopholes that Nixon and her editor have failed to stitch. For instance, while in the middle of the sea, how do you communicate with the people on land? Seeing that everyone inland was well informed of everything happening with the pirates, it would have been nice to have this explained. Also, time and space seemed to be warped quite a lot, especially since there was no world map to go by.

Themes:
- Freedom of choice being the main theme here
- Tyranny of rulers
- There are different kinds of pirates
- People aren't always who they appear to be

Characters:
Barren Reed, being the lead male character here, is many things. He is the king's nephew, he's half-elf and he's also a pirate Captain. He's only 18, but he has a ship and a crew loyal to him and his every whim. Or so it appears. Barren has been obsessed with a desire to revenge his father's murder and everything he ever does is toward this sole purpose. His every breath is taken in the hopes that one day he would lure out his treacherous brother William and duel him to avenge Jess Reed's death. Unfortunately, Barren is young and rash, and even though he has wise people on his crew, he never ever listens. Seeing that none of his fellow pirates had anything to gain from his vengeful behavior, I find it quite unbelievable that anyone at all would follow young captain Barren Reed on his quest to kill his brother. Much more when things got more serious.

Larkin Lee is the female protagonist in this novel. She messes up Barren Reed's plans on many occasions. Larkin is also young, and has the same half-human half-elf heritage that Barren has. Yet, this is their only similarity. While Barren is an outlaw, a scruple-less murderer, Larkin is the daughter of a Lord. She's about to marry Barren's brother, when the pirate kidnaps her. That's when the story finally begins. Traveling on Barren's ship, Larkin learns the dark truths behind her father's incredulous behavior, Barren's desire for revenge and the death of her own mother.

Leaf is the elven prince who travels side by side with Barren Reed. He is the wise one in this pair, though his advice is never ever heeded. I enjoyed the elf's jabs, though they never accomplished anything. I was unsure of Leaf's purpose in this story, seeing that the only things he was used for was healing, bickering and fighting.

Cove Rowell, being the Ambassador and a disguised pirate, was a character I had a hard time understanding. If everyone doubted his loyalty to the crown, how did he manage to not get executed on the gallows?

William Reed was a puppet in the King and Lord Christopher Lee's hands. He believed to be respected, to be one step ahead, while the entire time he was being manipulated. His desire to have Larkin as his wife streamed of nothing else but the fact that he'd rather have her dead, than see her in Barren's arms.

Christopher Lee is a man of no honor. He seemed to live in his own world, while trying to somehow play cards he did not have. The way he treated his daughter was cruel and I'm not sure how Larkin didn't figure out his true nature sooner.

Tethurion, the reigning king, turned out to be exactly as expected. People of power always seem to share the same exact traits - blindness, no honor and a well developed skill to lie and deceive.

In conclusion:
The potentially great story that Cutlass was set out to tell, was largely ruined by several factors. Some due merely to editorial slack, others to holes in the plot, and others had to do with the depth of the characters.

My rating is:

Friday, May 23, 2014

Blog Tour (Top 10 List): Taking Angels by C.S.Yelle



 
 
Book details:

Taking Angels by C.S. Yelle
(The Angel Crusades #1)
Publication date: March 26th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Book 1 in The Angel Crusades Series by CS Yelle

Britt Anderson went along with everything the doctors said for nearly four years, but she was still dying at eighteen. The cancer had won leaving her without a future, without any options, and without control. No control, except for how she would leave this world. As Britt tries to end her life by going into the frigid waters she realizes her mistake. She struggles to get back to shore, to cry out for help, but her atrophied muscles are useless and the frigid water steals the breath from her chemo-scarred lungs. Despite her father’s attempts to reach her, she flies over the waterfall.

When Allister Parks finds Britt’s fragile body on the riverbank something calls out to him. Ignoring the warnings of his sister, Allister brings Britt back from the edge of death. The only problem is that an Eternal like Allister isn’t allowed to touch those who have already passed from this world. It is forbidden; an infraction punishable by death.

As Britt relishes her new cancer-free life and senior year of high school, her very existence threatens Allister’s place in this world. Allister struggles to keep Britt a secret from the Eternal Council and out of the hands of the only Eternal who already knows the truth: the one who stole her guardian angel.


_______


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
C.S. Yelle was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MN, the “almost” middle child of six.  He attended Grand Rapids Senior High School where he enjoyed music and sports.  He received his BS in Chemistry from Mayville State University, Mayville, ND in 1987.  He taught 7-12 Science and coached for six years in several North Dakota schools and currently works as an Executive Account Manager in the Water Treatment Industry where he has been for nearly seventeen years.  He is the father of four and grandfather of one.  He writes novels, screenplays, and an occasional short story.  He has been writing seriously for over ten years and plans to continue until his fingers are unable, maybe longer.  He currently resides in a Minneapolis, MN suburb with his wife Jennifer and their rat terrier, Holly.

Author Links:

MY SPECIAL FEATURE: Top 10 List

TV Shows you want to participate in

  1. The Black List – Incredible cast and writing. Love the intrigue.
  2. Agents of Shield – Loved Marvel as a kid, still do.
  3. Scandal – great writing and twists that blind-side you.
  4. Game of Thrones – need I say more?
  5. Suits – Great twist on the legal world.
  6. The Good Wife – Quirky, yet original legal world view.
  7. White Collar – cast is so great. Writing is interesting.
  8. Grey’s Anatomy – this show lost my interest at one time but now is back.
  9. Castle – not sure why I forgot this one until now. Love everything about this show.
  10. The Voice – I think being a gopher to get the stars their drinks would suite me fine.


GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Tour wide giveaway Open INTL - Ends May 25th
Prize:
--25$ Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Blog tour (review): Exodus 2022 by Kenneth G. Bennett




BOOK DETAILS:
Title: EXODUS 2022
Author: Kenneth G. Bennett
Genre: Sci-Fi Thriller (pre-apocalypse)
Audience: NA/Adult
Release date: May 20th, 2014
Publisher: Booktrope Publishing

Summary:
Joe Stanton is in agony. Out of his mind over the death of his young daughter. Or so it seems.

Unable to contain his grief, Joe loses control in public, screaming his daughter’s name and causing a huge scene at a hotel on San Juan Island in Washington State. Thing is, Joe Stanton doesn’t have a daughter. Never did. And when the authorities arrive they blame the 28-year-old’s outburst on drugs.

What they don’t yet know is that others up and down the Pacific coast—from the Bering Sea to the Puget Sound—are suffering identical, always fatal mental breakdowns.

With the help of his girlfriend—the woman he loves and dreams of marrying—Joe struggles to unravel the meaning of the hallucination destroying his mind. As the couple begins to perceive its significance—and Joe’s role in a looming global calamity—they must also outwit a billionaire weapons contractor bent on exploiting Joe’s newfound understanding of the cosmos, and outlast the time bomb ticking in Joe’s brain. 

Book links:

or


Buy links:

MY REVIEW:

NOTE: I received the book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

I hadn't even heard of Kenneth before I read EXODUS 2022. Nor did I know what to expect of the book. I do love science fiction, and thrillers are usually blood-boiling, so I thought "Why not?"

There were scenes that had me laughing. By the end it had me teary eyed and somewhere in the middle I was pointing at the evil dude, saying "That's what you deserve, mister!"

Writing style:
Clean, well structured, and professional. The action flowed from one scene to the next without any stumbling. It was definitely a page turner.
Also, I can't say how much I loved the paragraph length. SHORT!

Story line:
I think I can count on my one hand the novels that kept me guessing until the very end. EXODUS 2022 was one of them. I had no idea what was going to happen until, literally, the very last page.
So, what's the story?
A young man by the name of Joe Stanton is struck by hallucinations. Of the daughter he never had. After a video of him going out of it is uploaded in the global web, he is noticed by a genius scientist and a weapons baron who are suddenly interested in solving the mystery of several Pacific coast victims. Things get tense and complicated along the way ans the mystery gets unraveled.

Themes:
-The power of money and how it can corrupt people;
-The human influence over anything seems to be mostly destructive;
-There are other sentient beings living on this planet. We'll do well to remember that.

Characters:
Joe Stanton was a quiet, peaceful young man. He had his life ahead of him, a life he was hopeful to share with his girlfriend Ella. He had an open attitude, a huge heart and a mind set in the right place. For someone placed in his situation, Joe was doing admirably. He knew what was waiting for him in a week's time, but he never lost sight of what he thought was important. He was a strong man, even when perceived as week, for strength is not always found in the physical body.

Ella Tollefson was not a girl, who would run at the first sight of trouble. In fact, I thought that was going to be how events would unfurl, but I was proved wrong. Ella stood by Joe's side until the very end. She suffered a lot - seeing him fall apart, seeing him struggle to remain with his mind, feeling helpless beside him, being kidnapped, harassed and everything else... Despite all that, Ella remained strong and brave.

Sheldon Beck... well, he was the antagonist. Not entirely, but to a certain extent, he made known that he was the force to be reckoned. And while the forces within him were the main evil, he was still one sick, egotistical man. He cared about nothing but himself. I despised him way before he became evil personified. He wasn't an admirable character to begin with - he was a murderer without a conscience. But he degraded even further as the story progressed. What I liked about him was that he wasn't a flat character. There was depth to him, layers upon layers and not even one of them was the the spectrum of goodness.
So yeah, lots of times I find myself rooting for the villain in a novel, but... dude, not this time.

In conclusion, I'd like to say that EXODUS 2022 was a journey I never expected to take, but am glad I took it.

My rating is:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kenneth G. Bennett is the author of the young adult novels, THE GAIA WARS and BATTLE FOR CASCADIA, and the new sci-fi thriller, EXODUS 2022. A wilderness enthusiast who loves backpacking, skiing and kayaking, Ken enjoys mysteries, science fiction, action adventure stories and, most especially, novels that explore the relationship between humans and the wild. He lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and son and two hyperactive Australian Shepherds.

THE GAIA WARS series was optioned for film by Identity Films, LA in 2012, and both GAIA and BATTLE have been featured as Top 100 Bestsellers in Teen Literature and Fiction on Amazon. Kirkus Reviews called THE GAIA WARS “A solid first entry of a promising, imaginative new young-adult fantasy series featuring a well-crafted character.”

Author links:

 
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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Book Blitz: Chasing Prophecy by James Moser





Book Details:

Chasing Prophecy by James Moser
Publication date: January 2nd 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Thriller, 
Young Adult

Synopsis:
“Chasing Prophecy” is the story of Mo, a teen boy just trying to survive high school in the mountain town of Boulder Creek, Washington. Boulder Creek is an isolated and mysterious place, proud of its reputation as the “Bigfoot Sighting Capital of the World”. Mo falls in love with a girl named Prophecy who lives with a group that some call a commune and others call a cult. When she disappears, Mo must find the courage to face the monster that her family has become. “Chasing Prophecy” is a heartwarming contemporary coming of age story. This book chronicles the adolescence of one boy who must transform himself to save the girl of his dreams.

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21955166-chasing-prophecy
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
When he's not dazzling Goodreads members with his wit and charm, the author is typically reading, writing, or watching way too much TV while snacking on chocolate treats from Trader Joe's (and who can blame him--those things are GOOD, yo!).

The author wanted to write about teenagers transforming themselves to survive. The result is "Chasing Prophecy," a story about love, loss, redemption, and monsters. Boo Radley is the author's all-time favorite book character, which is how the Seattle-area legend of Bigfoot entered this story.

Moser holds a B.A. in bookish matters and a Master's in the same. He lives in Seattle with his wife and eight year old son.

Author links:


SOMETHING EXTRA:


MY STUDENTS ARE MY INSPIRATION
I started my career as a high school English teacher in Snohomish County, Washington, which is about an hour north of Seattle. When I became a teacher, I thought that my job would mainly be about helping people with their essays, reading Lord of the Flies-you know—the usual high school English-y stuff. I quickly found out that the best part of my job was in getting to know my students as people. I don’t remember which essays I assigned when I was 25, but I remember the venison that Kurt brought me back from eastern Washington. I remember salmon jerky that Brandon brought me, and I remember the goldfish that Nicole gave me for Christmas when I was having a rough time. Nearly 100 of my Facebook friends are former students (they’re all in their late 20s and early 30s now, many with kids of their own). Teenagers have been my greatest teacher. In Chasing Prophecy, the lessons my students taught me are seen most clearly in the teen characters’ sense of humor, in their strength, and in the presence of Bigfoot.
TEEN HUMOR
“Funny” is the word that has come up in every review, so far. I wish I could take credit. The truth is that there is something about being a teenager which just makes people plain smarter and funnier than adults. Maybe it’s because this is when we’re looking around really hard, thinking really hard about who we are, what we want to be, and what inspires us. Great humor is in the details, and no one notices the details more than teenagers.
The stuff people find funniest in the book is mostly just straight out of my journals. I like to write down some of the great things they say. I once asked my juniors to write an essay comparing an author to someone noteworthy. One student turned in a paper he called:
“Hemingway and my Noteworthy Uncle Thad--What a Couple of Drunks”
Later in that same school year, a student turned in something she called,
“Some articles who think Huck Finn is gay”
These might be the 8 funniest words ever written. It’s amazing how many things are communicated in those eight words. It’s a title that says “Mr. Moser, I am more bored by this assignment than any assignment anyone has ever given me. In the history of education, the boredom I’m feeling right now is unsurpassed at any time, on any continent. Please, next time you’re thinking about assigning something this boring, just don’t. Rather, pick up something heavy and hit me in the head. Please.”
While reading Lord of the Flies, one of my all-time favorite kids told me, “If William Golding were a dinosaur, he would be a Boring-o-saurus.” Then his friend across the room added, “No, this book is so bad, William Golding would be a Boring-o-saurus REX—the apex predator of all other Boring-o-saurs.”
OK, I have NEVER written anything that funny in my life. When you’re loving the way my characters talk to each other, I’ll take credit for the punctuation and that’s about it.
STRENGTH
I’ve spent the last few years working with high school students who have mild to moderate reading disabilities. I’ve been really inspired by how hard these kids fight to improve their reading. For struggling learners it’s really important to have an interesting story—even more important than it is for adults. There’s so much extra work that goes into reading for some kids that they have a much lower threshold for boredom. One of my main tasks was to make this interesting enough for adults, but easy enough for younger or lower readers, as well.
I’ve talked about monsters a lot while promoting this book. Sometimes these monsters are reading disabilities. Sometimes the monsters are abusive home lives. Sometimes the monsters are their own fears, self-doubts, and insecurities. I’ve been so inspired by watching kids stare down all kinds of beasts. I wanted to create characters as courageous as my own students.
BIGFOOT
Beyond the symbolic, I’ve always been fascinated by plain old scary monsters with big teeth. I’m especially into the ones we only see in glimpses and therefore make bigger in our imaginations. So of course my all time fave book character is Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird. My Boo Radley is our own Seattle-area legend of Sasquatch. I can’t say much more about that without spoiling the best scenes in the book. I’ll just say that my own experience with him is through two of my students who went looking for him for a class project. They either found him, or they found something that looked, sounded, and smelled like him. Whatever it was scared the living daylights out of them.
So that’s the pot of stew that makes my book. Boo Radley lives in society but doesn’t want to be a part of it. So do many hippie communities. I made a harmless group of hippies turn into a monster (cult). The kids are based on every student I’ve ever had, in some way. The story is about a funny group of friends who have each other’s backs no matter what. They must change to survive. The monster they fear saves them, while the real monsters turn out to be people they’ve known all their lives. This book is by, about, and for legit teens, and also for those of us who are older and wish we could go back for just one day-- to see and hear as perfectly—to feel as deeply—as we did when we were seventeen.
Cherish the past, embrace the present, race into the future. This is Chasing Prophecy.


GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Blitz-wide giveaway Open INTL - Ends May 20th
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