Thursday, April 28, 2011

Possession by Elana Johnson

Simon and Schuster provided the eGalley for this novel for free. This in no way influenced my review of the book.

Back of the Book: Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous: everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

My Take: If you're looking for a dystopian adventure with a fresh voice, look no further. Can I just say: You've got to get your hands on this book and READ IT! Check out my right column for the countdown to its debut.

In a setting similar to Suzanne Colllins' Hunger Games, Violet Schoenfeld must discover why 'The Association' wants her when it has killed or altered everyone she loves. With the help of the very appealing Jag Barque, she manages to stay one step ahead discovering things about the world she lives in, herself, her family, and Jag. Pleasant and unpleasant things. In the end, she must choose, control or be controlled. What will she do to protect the people she loves? What would you do?

With lots of twists and turns in this story, I had a difficult time putting this book down. When I did manage to tear myself away, all I could think about were the characters and what was happening. (And now that I'm finished, it's still playing in my head...) It was easy to become immersed in Vi's world and I think Elana did a fantastic job creating believable characters, an interesting world and realistic gadgets - things you would really like to get your hands on and things you're really glad are not invented (mechs).

A delicious read clear to the end. Check out the official Possession website and pre-order your copy at AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-millionBook DepositoryBorders, or IndieBound.

Elana is an amazing writer, teacher, and mentor. Find out more about her at her website.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lemon Pie

Like many people, I had piano lessons when I was a girl. I can remember walking from the school to my piano teacher's house. On the way was Leon's Market - the only gas station in town and for a long time the only general store. The day of piano lessons, I loved it if I had a dime. We would stop at Leon's and I would buy a little box of Lemonheads to eat as we walked. YUM! I loved biting into them and having the sour liquid pucker up my mouth. Now I'm savoring a sweet lemon pie from Croshaw's and wow is it delicious and bringing back sweet lemon memories. What's your favorite childhood candy? And, if you're a writer, what's your current Main Character's favorite treat? Siri's is pears (Siri is the MC from my novel Bound). That girl loves pears.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Book Buzz

Today's book buzz is Curse of the Elfs by Anna Del C Dye.

When an Immortal race ceases to be immortal woe to the land.

Ancient legend tells of elfs crossing paths with a dying wizard named Zoltan. The Old Sorcerer’s unrepentant deeds had caused the wizarding school to chastise him severely. On his deathbed Zoltan asked the elfs for help.  Losing patience in his delirium, he cursed them. Now, the immortal elfin race is slowly, but surely dying.
Their only hope lies in a servant of kings who must learn to love the elfs before he will attempt to save them. But no one, elf or mankind, has ever heard of this man. Can the healer be found before their race is gone forever?

Anna del C. Dye was born in Valparaiso, Chile, amongst some of the world's most famous beaches. 

After meeting Rodney, a native of Idaho, in her hometown, Anna traveled to Utah on Christmas Eve and married him two weeks later. Their love story, Why Him? was published by Covenant in the book entitled Tender Mercies. Anna and Rodney reside in Taylorsville, Utah and are the parents of three princes and a princess.

Anna is an accomplished, multi-award winning author. One of her short stories entitled Amerine—Fairy Princess won an award in the Oquirrh Writers contest. The first book in her new YA Romance Series entitled “A Kingdom By The Sea” also won an award. Anna’s works also include The Silent Warrior Trilogy, the beginning saga of her YA Elf Series.

Author Interview:

Anna long have you been writing and why did you started?
About seven years ago I started because my husband wanted to live to the ripe age of fifty. He thought my imagination would be the end of his days. He actually ordered me to. He is awesome.

What are your books titled?
In the order they were published, they are:
The Silent Warrior Trilogy
Book 1 - The Elf and the Princess
Book 2 - Trouble in the Elf City
Book 3 - Elfs in a conquered Realm
and now:
Curse of the Elfs

Do you write your book from beginning to end, or start with the end or in the middle? Why?
The Trilogy I started in the front. Curse of the Elfs came to me in the middle, then it took form toward the front and the back. I am not sure why… it just happened.

Was there a particular person or event that inspired you to write this story?
The last movie of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. I wanted to know more about the character’s lives and couldn’t find enough. My husband said, “Why don’t you write your own.” I answered, “Yah right!” But his answer haunted me and in three days I had the draft of The Elf and the Princess in my mind. When I told him the story he came back with a laptop and told me to write it. The rest is history.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never give up!!! Join a writer's chapter close to you right now, and learn the craft from them.

Anna, do you write with music playing? If so, is the music likely to be songs with lyrics or only instrumentals?
I do have music on, though I love quietness. I have my favorite tunes in the computer where I write. Lots of them have lyric a few don’t.

What is the coolest thing about being an author?
Meeting great people and other authors.

What would you say is the most challenging part about being an author?
Spending hours promoting my books while I would like to be writing another.

Do you have a particular goal you aim to achieve with your writing?
To take people to a wonderful world where they can forget reality’s cold hand and safely enjoy fantasy. Life is tough and we need something to help us make it more fun and worth living. Fantasy is the way I choose to do it.

You once told me that English was your second language. What sort of challenges did you meet in trying to write your books, if any?
Not many really. I write and my editor has to figure out what I am trying to say. (If I can't figure how a word goes in English, I put it in Spanish...he speaks Spanish very well.) We have a lot of fun when we edit the books; because of my English mess ups. 

If you could give your book to only one person, who would it be and why?
A teenager in trouble...
In the hope that he/she could discover the power they have deep inside to change and become better. I want them to see that nothing is impossible if we put our minds to it.

Can you share with your fans how can you describe so well your battle scenes and the sword's playing action?
We found a medieval sword fighting class at the local high school and my husband and I took it. My husband liked it so much he has taken it for a few years now and has even earned two different belts with the clan.

Where can we purchase a copy of your books?

Thank you for this opportunity to visit with you and your friends.

You're welcome Anna. We're so glad to get to know you better.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Grudge

Today I sat at the park with my youngest child and a couple of nephews. Trios are difficult because someone usually gets left out. These three usually play well together because they know the ‘be mean to one’ thing doesn’t fly. But sometimes, like today, a fist is thrown or someone is pushed. My son happened to be the one doing the pushing so had a little time out where we talked about choices and making things right.

After talking to me he went to play (I did have to remind him to take care of business before playing). He happily approached the other child and said he was sorry and gave him a hug. By this time, not two minutes after the incident, all was forgotten and they all returned to playing together.

Switch scenes to adults. A woman I know has harbored a grudge for nearly thirty years. It has ruined many relationships and, I believe, her own life. I do not know all of the specifics, but I do know it was more than a push on a playground. Has it been worth it? The torment she has put herself through by not forgiving. The pain she has caused many family members? The emptiness her life has become? How different would her life have been if she had been ‘as a little child’?

Forgiving isn’t always easy and sometimes we cannot do it alone. No matter how hard we try. I ran into this a number of years ago, trying and trying to forgive what I felt was an offense against me. No matter how hard I tried to let it go, it continued to eat away at me. Finally realizing that I needed help, I laid my burden at Christ’s feet and begged for help. You know how the story ends. Peace filled me and I was able to forgive. This was a blessed experience in my life and a testimony to me that my Heavenly Father loves me…flaws and all.

So my question to you is: Are you holding a grudge? If you aren’t, you are a step ahead. If you are, I challenge you to lay your burden at His feet and find the peace that only He can bring. And from now on, remember we are all his children, let us be kind to each other.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Possession Giveaway

It seems like my creativity has run dry and all I'm doing is posting fabulous contests. True. Here is another one. Elana is so much fun and I can't wait to read Possession. Check out her facebook contest here. So many books, so little time.