Tuesday, May 28, 2013

You Ask Elric

 So, lately, a few writers have been introducing their characters and allowing people to ask them questions. I thought it sounded fun, so here's the post! I did a character interview for Elric awhile ago. (You can read it here.) But now you have the opportunity to ask him questions. For those of you who don't know him well, here's an introduction.

 So... some of these photos make him look a little younger than he is, but I like the expressions. 

 Elric is the main character in my novel, The Prince's Quest. He's the second son of King Rath and Queen Eloine, and crown prince of Linaeus. Elric is smart, once praised by his tutor as one of the highest minds in the country, but this information doesn't please his father who is more of an action kind of guy. Because of this, King Rath tasks his son to find a traitor in a small town and bring him to justice, simply to prove he'd be a good king. But Elric isn't the most athletic guy. In fact, he'd rather read a book then get into any sort of confrontation, so his younger brother often beats him at swordplay. But before I reveal too much about my character... I'll give you the opportunity to ask your questions! 

 Can't wait to see them. And the answers should be posted next Tuesday! 

~ a rambling author                                                       

Monday, May 27, 2013

Captives: A Book Review and Giveaway!

Today, I have the great pleasure of reviewing Captives by Jill Williamson.  I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.                                                                            

 From the back cover: One choice could destroy them all.
When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many—including his fiancée, Jem–taken captive. Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.
Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Land has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams.
Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only his people, but also find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone inside the Safe Lands.
Can Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Land’s façade before it’s too late?

  Jill is a wonderful speculative fiction author for young people, and I have yet to be disappointed by one of her books. I was very excited to receive this book in the mail, and I read it in a couple of days. I'd say Captives is a little more mature then her two previous books, Replication and The New Recruit. There is a lot of science stuff talked about, including how to impregnate women. Also, there are drugs, drinking, and other heavy subjects, but Mrs. Williamson writes it all in a tasteful way, and it is done to show the true depravity of The Safe Lands.

And oh, it was interesting.

 The characters... The story was told from the point of view of three brothers, and the oldest brother's fiance's younger sister, Shaylinn. I wasn't the biggest fan of Levi (though he had his bright moments), and of course Omar got on my nerves at times, but my favorite character out of them would be Mason. He reminds me of the main character in my novel. He's smart, and gentle, and just an all around great character. I also liked Shaylinn. She was the most interesting girl character in the story, excluding the younger girls who I'd love to see more of in future books.

The plot... It reminds me of the stories you hear about, ya know, the places that seem so wonderful, so beautiful, they're actually dangerous. Like Vanity Fair in Pilgrim's Progress, The Safe Lands is full of pleasure... but it is in the pleasure that the danger lies.The idea of a future world where the masses live in a compound where they are all dying, and the few outsiders holding onto the truth are forced inside provides for lots of conflict, and interesting things to happen.

 I enjoyed learning about the many things presented in this future, and rooting for the good guys to win. There's so much I could say, and so little. It was very good. I enjoyed it, truly. Now, I must wait for the second to come out. Hopefully, I won't have to wait too long... :)

Check out the book trailer! And you can read the first chapter here.

Buy it here. Or here!

Jill and her publicist have kindly offered a giveaway! Enter in the rafflecopter below. (U.S. entrants only. :/)

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Check out more reviews on this blog tour, and enter the giveaways!
ADD Librarian • Blooming with Books • Bookworm Reading • Chris Kolmorgen • Christian Book Review Blog • Christian Bookshelf ReviewsCTF Devourer • Emily Rachelle WritesHeavenward Reviews • Jessica Laurie • Labor Not in Vain • The Life of a Teenage Writer • The Maniacal BookwormMrs. Southern BrideOh, Restless Bird • Pages from My Journal • The Pen and ParchmentRachelle Rea • The Ramblings of a Young Author • Realm of HeartsShadow Writer World • A Simple Life, Really?!Surrendering All of Me • Terri Harr • Verbosity Book Reviews • Who YA Reading? • Worthy2Read • The Writings of Rosie • Heavenward Reviews

 I hope you enjoyed this reviews! God bless, and see you tomorrow!

~ a rambling author 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ABC Reading Challenge

So, I was inspired by Jill Williamson's post on Go Teen Writer's today. She posted an ABC reading challenge. She challenged herself (and anyone else who's interested) to make an alphabet reading list, and read them through the year. Because of all the books I have to read, I'm not sure if I can make it through in a year, but I think it would be fun to read through anyway. Also, we'll see if I read in alphabetical order. So here's my list! These are books that I/my family own and have yet to read, or library books.

A - Angry by Laura L. Smith
The author very sweetly sent me this book, so I'm excited for the chance to read it. (Other books starting with "A" that I recommend... Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore, Anne of Green Gables by L. Maude Montgomery, Anathema by Colleen Coble, Alone Yet Not Alone by Tracy Leininger.)

B - Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey
 I started reading this a few months ago, but got busy and never finished. Since I'm still near the beginning I decided it would count. :) (Other books starting with "B" that I recommend... By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson, Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale, Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke, The Bridge by Jerri Massi.)

  C - Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula by Elise Stokes

  I downloaded this on kindle awhile ago because I thought it would be interesting to read sometime. Turns out this is the perfect opportunity. (Other books starting with "C" that I recommend... Curse of the Spider King by Wayne Thomas Batson, Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker, Captives by Jill Williamson.)

D - Dorothy's Double by G.A. Henty 
My family has been encouraging me to read books by G.A. Henty for a long time. He's an old writer from years ago who wrote historical novels. Seems like a good time to try him out. (Other books starting with "D" that I recommend... The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson, Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover by Ally Carter, The Destiny of One by Sarah Holman.)
E - The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart
 I love the Mysterious Benedict Society series, so when this prequel came out I was definitely excited. My mom finally picked it up for me last Saturday, so this is going into the E spot! (Other books starting with "E" that I recommend... Enna Burning by Shannon Hale, The Errant King by Wayne Thomas Batson, Elephant Run by Roland Smith.) 

F - The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson
  If you couldn't tell already, I love fairytale retellings. And Melanie Dickerson does an excellent job with them. She takes the base story, and makes it her own, even adding in a Christian aspect. I've read one of her medieval retellings, so I'm excited to get my hands on this Snow White retelling! (Other books starting with "F" that I recommend... The Fairytale Detectives by Michael Buckley.)

G - Godiva by David Rose
 This is a book I received for Christmas a few years ago from my brother-in-law. I read almost the entire thing, but ended up sidetracked. So, since it's been so long, I'm just going to re-read the entire book. I also had trouble finding a G book for some reason. Go figure. (Other books starting with "G" that I recommend... The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, Gods and Kings by Lynn Austen, Go Teen Writers: How To Turn Your First Book Into a Published Book by Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson.)

H - House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo 
  I've been wanting to read this book since the NextGen writer's contest last summer. I found it at Ollie's a couple months ago, and just haven't gotten to reading it yet with all the books I had to read. I'm excited for this one! (Other books starting with "H" that I recommend... Hangman's Curse by Frank Peretti, The Hallelujah Lass by Wendy Lawton, The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis.)

I - In Between: A Katie Parker Production by Jenny B. Jones
I've heard a lot about Jenny B. Jones. This is another one that I have read a bit of, but haven't finished. So let's give it a go! (Other books starting with "I" that I recommend... Isle of Swords/Fire by Wayne Thomas Batson, Interrupted: Life Beyond Words by Rachel Coker, It's Complicated by Laura L. Smith.)

J - Just Beyond the Clouds by Karen Kingsbury
 I don't normally read much Kingsbury, but in an effort to find a J book, I decided to give this book a try. :) (Other books starting with "J" that I recommend... Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes.)

K - Kidnapped by Dee Henderson
I haven't read much Dee Henderson either, though I have listened to her O'Malley series, and read one of her books. She's great with suspense, so I'm pretty sure this will be a good read! (Other books starting with "K" that I recommend... The Kathleen Series by Tracy Leininger Craven. All start with K. First is Kathleen's Shaken Dreams.)

 L - Lightkeeper's Ball by Colleen Coble
 I love a good Colleeen Coble book. And since I was able to enjoy the first book in this series, The Lightkeeper's Daughter, this one is bound to be good as well. (Other books starting with "L" that I recommend... The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Colleen Coble, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis.)

M - The Maze Runner by James Dashner
 I've had this one for a few months, a Christmas present from my sis, and I've heard a lot about it. So I'm going to read it at last. :) (Other books starting with "M" that I recommend... The Mysterious Benedict Society (and sequels) by Trenton Lee Stewart, The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson, The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis.)

N - The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
 I'm not sure about this one entirely, but since it's an N title, I'll check it out and see what it's like. :) (Other books starting with "N" that I recommend... The Negotiator by Dee Henderson, The New Recruit by Jill Williamson.)

O - Out of Control by Mary Connealy 
This one looks pretty interesting, and O books are so hard to find! (Other books starting with "O" that I recommend... Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer.)

P - Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer
 Normally, Amish fiction isn't my cup of tea, but for some reason or another this story about an Amish community fleeing Mexican because of almost religious persecution has caught my interest. So we'll see how it goes. :) (Other books starting with "P" that I recommend... Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale, The Problem Child by Michael Buckley, Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis.)
Q - The Quest Begins by Erin Hunter
 I don't know a lot about this book either, but it's about bears, and sounds like it might be a cute read. It might be a kids book, but those are nice now and again. (Other books starting with "Q" that I recommend... Quiet Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott.)

R - Redwall by Brain Jacques
Yes, I've never read Redwall. I've wanted to, though. And now I have it downloaded on kindle, and it's just waiting to be read. I've seen the cartoons, however. ;) (Other books starting with "R" that I recommend... Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, Replication by Jill Williamson, The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill, Raiders From the Sea by Lois Walfrid Johnson.)

S - Set Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy
 This was sent to me by a friend. I love books that encourage girls in the Lord, and other areas in their life. This is the first non-fiction book on my list. I had a few fiction choices, but decided this was the best for now. And I really want to read it too. (Other books starting with "S" that I recommend... The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers, Shadow of His Hand by Wendy Lawton, The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis.)

T - The Tiphereth Trilogy by Katie Hepner
This is a book written by a fellow teen writer, so of course I'm excited to have the opportunity to read it. It also looks like a good plot. (Other books starting with "T" that I recommend... Through My Eyes by Tim Tebow, The Tide of Unmaking by Wayne Thomas Batson, To Darkness Fled by Jill Williamson.)

U - Unenchanted by Chanda Hahn
Another book series about people related to the brothers Grimm? Sounds pretty cool. I'll see what it's like! :) (Other books starting with "U" that I recommend... The Unusual Suspects by Michael Buckley, The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson.)

V - Viewer by Scott Hawthorne
 Another interesting looking book about people able to see great technology, including some teens who are held hostage by a man who wants to use their talents to create advanced weaponry to take over the world. (Other books starting with "V" that I recommend... Venom and Song by Wayne Thomas Batson, The Voice in The Wind by Francine Rivers, The Voyage of The Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis.)

W - While We're Far Apart by Lynn Austen             
 I like Lynn Austen. Her Gods and Kings series was really good, and I just think she's a good writer. I'm excited to read this book. I've actually started it, but not been able to finish it because of other things before, so it will be nice to have it as a priority.  And the cover's so pretty! (Other books starting with "W" that I recommend... Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren, The Witness by Dee Henderson, Word of Honor by Terri Blackstock.

X - XYZ A Detective Story by Anna Katherine Green
 So this one isn't complete novel length. I suppose it's more of a novella, but I don't own any X books, as far as I'm aware, and neither does my library! So this story I found on kindle will just have to do. (Other books starting with "X" that I recommend... Uh... I don't know any! Not really. I suppose we need to write some X books! :P)

Y - Young Indiana Jones and the Princess of Peril by Lester M. Schulman or Young Samurai by Chris Bradford.
I actually found a couple, but can't decide! Indiana Jones, or a boy who has to learn martial arts because his family was murdered? What do you think? (I don't really know many Y books either...)

Z - Zero Gravity by Dave Roman or Zel by Donna Jo Napoli
Zero Gravity looks like a comic book. But for some reason I'm having trouble finding Z books. ;) However, I stumbled across the book Zel, and it sounds like the type of book I'd read. The only way I'll get this one, though, is to buy it. But I suppose I might have the money by the time I get to Z, so here's hoping! :)

Wow, this blog post took a long time to write! Who knew? All of the books on the list are subject to change, if I find a book of that letter that I really, really want to read. But I'm pretty excited about this! I have a few books to finish, and then I can get started on Angry! I'm hoping to have a review of each book, and those will probably be posted on Thursday's as I finish them. :)

Do you have any book suggestions? Especially for the really hard letters?

~ a rambling author



Thursday, May 16, 2013

And The Winner is...

So, I wasn't able to post Tuesday, but I think it was worth the wait because... today I get to announce the winners for my Fifty Followers Mini Giveaway!

 First off, A Little Princess. The winner of this book, and a beautiful journal from the SassyPlanetBoutique on Etsy is... *drumroll* Adriana Lister! Whoot! Whoot! I'll email you for your address. :)

Secondly, Jane Eyre (and a special surprise. :D) The winner of this is... *trumpets* Sarah Faulkner! I'll email you to let you know how to collect your prize.

 Thank you to everyone who took part in the giveaway. It was a lot of fun for me to host, and I just want to let you all know how much I appreciate you getting me to 50! You all are the best, and if there's anything you'd like to see changed on the blog let me know. Thank you for your support, encouragement, and everything. You all are great!

~ a rambling author

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet: A Book Review

 Two book reviews in a row! I hope you guys like them. There are so many interesting stories to be reviewed out there! Hopefully I'll have something different for you tomorrow. Today, however, I have the great pleasure of reviewing The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill. I received this book as a member of Playlist Street Team, so it gives me the opportunity to be a part of this Team Novel Team tour.

From the back cover Ellie Sweet is a lot of things—good girl, novelist, silent adorer of the new boy at school, Palmer. But when “outcast” gets added to the list, she decides it’s time to take reality into her own hands … and tweak it as needed.

In the pages of her book, she’s Lady Gabrielle, favorite of the medieval Italian court. Her once-friends are reduced to catty ladies-in-waiting, and the too-charming Palmer—who in real life never spares her a second word—gets to be nothing more than a rake wracked by unrequited love for her. She even has a perfect real-life villain in the brooding Chase, who hails from the wrong side of town.

But just when she’s getting along great in her fictional world, the real one throws her a few curves. With Chase pursuing her, Palmer wanting to date her—but in secret—and the details of her manuscript going public, Ellie suddenly receives more attention than she ever really wanted. And when her former-friends discover what she’s been writing, they’re determined to teach Ellie a lesson about the severe consequences of using her pen as her sword.

 My thoughts: Ellie Sweet was a really neat character. As a young writer I could really connect with her desire to be published, and all the little writing related things in the story. She used her life as a template for a story, using writing as a way figure out her feelings on different issues. She was a fun person to read about. Stephanie Morrill did a wonderful job getting Ellie's voice down, and drawing me into the story. Unlike some books, I found it hard to stop reading. The other characters in the book all achieved their different goals well. There were some we're meant to dislike, and they pull it off quite effortlessly. Others can be a bit harder to decode. There's Palmer, the gorgeous guy who cares a little too much about his image. There's Chase, the typical bad boy who has so much more to him. I seriously had no idea who Ellie was going to choose through most of the book. You just have to read it to see! 

 I can't say I agree with Ellie's choices. I probably wouldn't want to be involved with either of the boys because of their differing beliefs. I didn't like how Ellie deceived her parents throughout the book, and other little things. 

 Over all, I really liked this book. The characters were very real, and it was just interesting to read about, especially with the added concept of Ellie's writing journey. Also, I make a slight cameo. What's not to like? ;P

 Now, if you'd like to buy your own copy, just visit this link, and you'll be set!

 Also, the author has graciously offered an ebook giveaway of Ellie Sweet! Check out the rafflecopter below to enter! :)

About Stephanie Morrill: Stephanie writes young adult contemporary novels and is the creator of GoTeenWriters.com. Her novels include The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series (Revell) and the newly released The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet (Playlist). You can connect with her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and check out samples of her work on her author website.

Check out other stops along the tour to learn more about the book, and catch some more giveaways of the book!

Blooming with Books • Colorimetry • Gillian Adams • Jill Williamson • The Life of a Teenage Writer • Once Upon an Inkling • Pages from My Journal • Rachelle Rea • The Ramblings of a Young Author • Shadow Writer World • Who YA Reading? • The Writings of Rosie • Worthy2Read

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Storm: A Book Review

Hello all! Today I'm reviewing Storm by Evan Angler! This review was supposed to be up yesterday or the day before, but because of some things I wasn't able to get it posted until now. I hope you enjoy! I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Back cover:
In a future United States under the power of a charismatic leader, everyone gets the Mark at age thirteen. The Mark lets citizen shop, go to school, and even get medical care—without it, you are on your own. Few refuse to get the Mark. Those who do . . . disappear.
Logan Langly went in to get his Mark, but he backed out at the last minute. Ever since, he’s been on the run from government agents and on a quest to find his sister Lily, who disappeared when she went to get her Mark five years earlier. His journey leads him to befriend the Dust, a vast network of Markless individuals who dissent against the iron-grip rule of the government. Along the way to the capital to find Lily, the Dust receive some startling information from the Markless community, opening their eyes to the message of Christianity and warning that humanity is now entering the End of Days.
In Storm, Logan and his friends are the leaders of the Markless revolution. But while some Markless are fighting Chancellor Cylis’ army, the Dust is busy trying to find a cure for a horrible epidemic sweeping through the Marked. And it’s difficult for them to know who to trust, especially when they aren’t sure if Logan’s sister Lily, one of the commanders in Cylis’ army, is on their side or not. And all across the nation—and the world—the weather has become less stable and a storm is brewing that bigger than any of them could have ever imagined.

Here's a cool book trailer for the book.


 So... my thoughts on this book. I have mixed feelings about Storm, and the entire Swipe series. I really like it. Evan Angler does a great job with characters. Some of the young people act a lot older than they would now, but I'd say they just had to mature quickly because of their environment. It's very well written, and I love the way Mr. Angler puts himself into the story. It reminds me of Lemony Snicket and his A Series of Unfortunate Events in a way. The characters are, for the most part, pretty likable.

 My mixed feelings come from the fact that this story is obviously based off the Bible's account of revelation. There are multiple characters who have the Mark, including main characters that the reader is supposed to like. In the Bible it says that no man who takes the Mark will be able to go Heaven, or get saved, or anything. So I have a hard time understanding the presence of characters with the Mark since I know how that's going to end. In the novel it also suggests that characters can burn their Marks off, but somehow I don't see that as going to work.

 Anyway, I'm still a tad bit confused about that entire bit. But I enjoyed the story as a whole, and I'm anxious to see what's going to become of the characters.

 I hope you enjoyed this review, and it didn't confuse you too much. Storm is the third book in a series, after all. :P

Evan Angler's Website.

Buy it here: here.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Come back tomorrow for a book review of Strom by Evan Angler. See what I think of this story. :)