YA Book Review: Banished

Banished crop

Banished is a fast-paced fantasy which combined with a feisty heroine, enchanting Faerie prince and a believable Faerie world makes it a book not to be missed.

The sprinklings of betrayal and treachery just lift it to further heights like the hundreds and thousands on a cupcake!

Oh and did I mention that Liz de Jager is a fellow South African? An4 Stard no this did not influence my review!

Recommended age: 12+

Banished by Liz de JagerTitle:  Banished
Series: The Blackhart Legacy  – Book 1
Author: Liz de Jager
Publication Date: 27 February 2014
Publisher: Tor
Source: Purchased
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Sworn to protect, honour and slay. Because chaos won’t banish itself…

Kit is proud to be a Blackhart, now she’s encountered her unorthodox cousins and their strange lives. And her home-schooling now includes spells, fighting enemy fae and using ancient weapons.

But it’s not until she rescues a rather handsome fae prince, fighting for his life on the edge of Blackhart Manor, that her training really kicks in. With her family away on various missions, Kit must protect Prince Thorn, rely on new friends and use her own unfamiliar magic to stay ahead of Thorn’s enemies.

As things go from bad to apocalyptic, fae battle fae in a war that threatens to spill into the human world. Then Kit pits herself against the Elder Gods themselves – it’s that or lose everyone she’s learnt to love.              — Extract from Goodreads.com

YA Book Review: The Body Finder

The Body Finder crop

I almost gave up on this book. It started slowly, with each aspect of the story line over explained, but I am glad I persevered as by the second half the pace picked up and the tension increased.

Would I read the sequel…? Mmm, probably not.3 Star

Recommended age: 13+

The Body FinderTitle: The Body Finder
Series: The Body Finder – Book 1
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publication Date: 16 March 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Purchased
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Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world… and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.  — Extract from Goodreads.com

YA Book Review: But I Love Him

But I Love Him crop

A raw, painful, heart-breaking story that will not be easy to forget. A story of love coming undone, slowly crumbling away piece by piece.

Written so well that I could have been seeing the story unfold first hand, this book explores the dark aspects of domestic violence. The manipulation, uncontrolled anger and the resulting broken pieces so aptly shown on the cover art.4 Star

Recommended age: 14+

But I Love HimTitle:  But I Love Him
Author: Amanda Grace
Publication Date: 1 May 2011
Publisher: Flux
Source: Purchased
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Sometimes at night, I wake up and stare at the heart for hours. I think of how I collected each piece from the beach, how I glued it all together into one big sculpture. I wonder if Connor realizes what it means, that he’ll always have a piece of me no matter what happens. Each piece of glass is another piece of myself that I gave to him.

It’s too bad I didn’t keep any pieces for myself.

At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved – and needed. Ann can’t recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor’s rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything – and everyone – in its path.      — Extract from Goodreads.com.

Blogger Book Fair Day 5 – Featuring YA Author Andi O’Connor + Giveaways

BBF Promo 1.Welcome to day 5 of the BBF.

Today I am hosting Author Andi O’Connor and her YA Fantasy book, ‘Silevethiel‘.

 

Silevethiel (The Vaelinel Trilogy #1)

 

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Following her father’s murder, Princess Irewen Donríel is betrayed and left for dead in the forests of Mistwood. Rescued by the elf prince, Laegon Elendell, Irewen awakes an exile with no home, no country, and no people. But as the horrific memories of murder and betrayal return, she realizes the nightmare is only beginning.

The world of Vaelinel is failing—its fate bound to her in ways no one fully understands. A mysterious elven prophecy may provide her with some answers, but continuously hunted and fighting for her life, Irewen quickly learns that unearthing the truth will be more difficult than she ever imagined. Can she accept Laegon’s love and the friendship of the Wood Elves, or will she stand alone against the terrifying evil now threatening to destroy the entire world?

 

Teaser from Silevethiel (The Vaelinel Trilogy #1)

A voice penetrated Irewen’s deep sleep.

Her father said only one word, her name, but he was so desperate in his calling that she was immediately pulled from her slumber. She woke, searching in vain for the man she knew wouldn’t be there, couldn’t be there. Sorrow filled her heart anew when he didn’t answer her silent plea. But amidst the all too familiar grief, there flowered a warm bubble of joy.

She had heard his voice, and she had not forgotten.

 

Fun Fact about Silevethiel (The Vaelinel Trilogy #1)

A few people have commented that they don’t understand why Silevethiel is the title of the book and focus of the cover when she isn’t the main character. It’s true, she isn’t, but that makes her no less important. She’s mysterious. We don’t actually meet her until about half-way through the book, but she’s an essential figure in the lives of the Elves as well as the main character. So much depends on her. Without her, the fate of Irewen, the Elves, and the world of Vaelinel would be much different.

 

About Andi O’Connor

Andi O'ConnorAndi O’Connor is the award winning author of the fantasy series The Dragonath Chronicles, The Vaelinel Trilogy, and The Legacy of Ilvania. Andi’s first YA novel,Silevethiel, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2013. Her short story Redemption, is a Kindle Book Review, 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semifinalist. Andi is a member of the National Writers Association and the Boston Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association. She currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, and four dogs.

Connect:

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Interview with Andi O’Connor

When did you start writing?

I began writing in 2003 as something fun to do in my spare time. The manuscript would go untouched for months, and there were many times where I’d have to re-read the entire thing because I forgot what I’d written. I didn’t become serious with my writing until the summer of 2011. My mom died in the spring, and I wanted to finish The Lost Heir in her memory. Since then I’ve become addicted to writing and it’s all I do!

What inspires your writing?

This may sound rather cliche, but my writing is inspired by everything! What I love about Fantasy is that even though it’s entirely make-believe, it’s real. You may think I’m completely nuts, but I’m not, I promise! Part of what draws people into Fantasy and what makes it so relatable is that it is so steeped in reality. There’s real emotions, real issues, real struggles, real dilemmas. Fantasy is unique in that I can let my imagination and creativity take me anywhere. I have no limitations other than the confines of the world I create. But reality has a large impact on my writing, and because of that I find inspiration everywhere. I’ve touched topics such as rape, abortion, religion, equality, defying stereotypes, female empowerment, and epidemics…to name a few. And my inspiration will only continue to grow.

What is the best part about being a writer?

The best part of being a writer is touching other people with something I created. Inspiring others and making them think or consider things they might not have is such a wonderful feeling. Taking readers to other worlds and letting them feel like they’re with the characters and experiencing the events themselves is truly a wondrous ability.

The Giveaways

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Blogger Book Fair Day 4 – Featuring YA Author K. Ferin + Giveaways

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Welcome to day 4 of the BBF.

Today I am hosting Author K. Ferin and her YA Fantasy book, ‘Magicless‘.

Magicless

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Deep in the Oakwood, a boy is born without magic.  

In a land where powers flow through one’s veins as naturally as water down a mountain stream, Micah is an aberration detested by everyone—everyone except Alekka, a gifted but solitary mage who understands the price of isolation. Her sensitivity to the thoughts of others drives her to seek solace in the forests surrounding Aclay, a small village that has been living under a malevolent shadow for hundreds of years.

As fear and loss ravage the countryside, the two outcasts form an unlikely bond forged in loneliness and surrounded by the flickering silhouettes of destiny. When their home is destroyed, the outcasts must join a volatile group of their peers on a journey that threatens to strip them of everything they cherish, imperil everything they’ve ever known, even force them to question the nature of reality itself. Can they find the key to stemming the tide of darkness without losing themselves along the way?

About K. Ferin

K. FerinDuring the daylight hours I live in a world filled with high technology – satellites, windowless buildings filled with humming machinery and robust HVAC systems, and networks spanning half the globe.

When the working-day ends the world around me shifts from one filled with engineers and machines to one filled with magic, myth and adventure. My heart lives here, along with my writing. I write fantasy of all kinds, some epic, some urban, and some dark, some young adult and some for mature readers.

You can find my young adult novel Magicless at all major online retailers. My next book, Desiderium, Monsters the First will be out in October 2014.

Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Interview with K. Ferin

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing stories since I first learned how to write. My mother always expected I’d grow into a writer one day. Stories, fantasy stories, are like breath to me. I must read them and write them or suffocate under the weight of the mundane.

What inspires your writing?

Literally everything. I might overhear a conversation in a coffee shop that sticks in my mind, something might grab me from a news article, random images can form story nuggets that linger. For me I think the key is curiosity – seeing or reading something and asking *why*, and then adding magic into the mix.

What is the best part about being a writer?

The easy answer to this is that I get to work in my PJs on my patio with my dogs everyday. The real answer is far more complex. Books subtly change us in a myriad of tiny ways. Particularly with speculative fiction, they allow us to see *possibility*, to see the world differently that what we’ve done before. Being involved in creating such objects of power is the coolest possible thing.

The Inspiration Behind Magicless

An item of interest might be that the inspiration behind what this book turned out to be was my nephew and an issue he was having with bullying by some neighborhood kids. He was five at the time, had just moved into the neighborhood, and there was a group of kids who ruled the hood with an intolerant and cruel fist. It was mostly verbal taunting but there were a few scraps. And the truly bothersome thing, to me, was their parents were the same as their kids.

So I wanted to write something about the value of diversity, the importance of difference, and how everyone brings value to the quest. Thus was Magicless born.

The Giveaways

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Blogger Book Fair Day 3 – Featuring YA Author Morgan Wylie + Giveaways

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Welcome to the third day of the BBF.

Today I am hosting author Morgan Wylie and her YA Fantasy book, ‘Silent Orchids’


Silent Orchids (The Age of Alandria: Book One)

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A dying realm.

The ancient evil of the Droch-Shúil has been unleashed.

The Orchids have been silenced… but for how long?

Daegan, elite of the Ferrishyn warrior tribe of Faeries, is charged with a mission to find the Sol-lumieth, a mysterious new power that could change the fate of all in the realm of Alandria. But he is conflicted by his purpose, and he cannot trust the motives of those he serves. He has too many questions and they must be answered.

Kaeleigh, a girl abandoned as a small child just outside Missoula, Montana, is now 18. She is trying to discover who she is and where she belongs. In her heart, she feels she has family out there… somewhere. Desperate to unravel the mysteries of her past, she embarks on a journey that will forever change her along with her two best friends, Finn and Chel—who have secrets of their own.

About Morgan Wylie

MorganMorgan Wylie published her first novel, Silent Orchids, one year after moving across the country with her family on a journey of new discovery. After an amazing three years in Nashville, TN and the release of two more books, Morgan and her family found their way back to the Northwest where they now reside. Still working everyday with great optimism, Morgan continues to embrace all things: “Mama”, wife, teacher, and mediator to the many voices and muses constantly chattering in her head… where it gets pretty loud!

Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook

The Giveaways

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Blogger Book Fair Day 2 – Featuring YA Author Diantha Jones + Giveaways

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Welcome to the second day of the BBF!

Today I am hosting author Diantha Jones and her YA Fantasy book ‘Prophecy of the Most Beautiful’.

Prophecy of the Most Beautiful (Oracle of Delphi #1)

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She has a destiny so great that even the gods fear her.

Constant hallucinations and the frequent conversations with the voices in her head, have earned eighteen-year-old Chloe Clever the not-so-coveted title of “Whack Job” in her home town of Adel, Georgia. Fed up with prescription meds and therapists, she wishes for a life where she is destined to be more than the butt of everyone’s jokes and mockery.

Be careful what you wish for has never rung more true.

After a vicious attack and learning that her favorite rockstar is an Olympian god, she is thrust into her new life as the Oracle of Delphi, the prophesier of the future. Setting out to fulfill the prophecy she has been given, Chloe learns of how great she is to become, all the while fighting mythical monsters and trying to outwit the ever-cunning Greek gods who harbor secrets of their own. While on a mission to discover the Most Beautiful, she strives to uncover the mysteries of the demigod Prince who has sworn to protect her with his life…and threatens to win her heart in the process.

About  Diantha Jones

DianthaJonesB&W1Diantha was born on Thanksgiving Day so that explains why her mother calls her a “turkey.” She spent the first 16 years of her life as an official Army brat (now she’s a retired one), and has spent the last twelve years living in Georgia (Atlanta, then Savannah). She now resides in Washington D.C. She loves to read and watch movies (Quentin Tarantino is her fave director), and she loves cold weather and french fries (with cheese if possible).

Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Interview with Diantha Jones

When did you start writing?
I started writing (seriously) in 2010 after I realized my life was not headed in the direction I’d planned for it to go, and there was a good chance it never would. Looking back, I’m so glad I made that wrong turn.

What inspires your writing?
The Quiet. Noise distracts, but in the silence, there are endless possibilities and an entire plane for your imagination to play around in. There’s nothing I enjoy more than letting my imagination run buck wild.

What is the best part about being a writer?
The Tingle. You know, that feeling in your stomach when you’re about to release a new book or have just come up with your next project. The feeling never disappoints and never gets old.

The Giveaways

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Odd ramblings of an obsessed reader

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