Feature and Follow: 4

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Feature and Follow is a blog hop hosted by Rachel from Parajunkie and Alison from AlisonCanRead. This is my fourth time attempting the Feature and Follow blog hop. If you decide to follow my blog, I would prefer that you follow it by email.

There are spoilers down below so proceed with caution!

-Avery

Here is the prompt: What are your three favorite heroines, the books they’re in, and why do you love them?

My Response:

  1. The unicorn from The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle is my first choice. I love this character because I basically grew up loving the movie. She’s a strong female character who rescues all of the unicorns in the world and she turns into a human (how cool is that?).
  2. Kate from Heartlight by T. A. Barron is my second choice. I really love this character because she is very strong and brave for a child and she saves the Earth.
  3. My third choice is Caymen from The Distance Between Us by Kasie West. Caymen is sarcastic and witty and I can really relate to her. Plus, she works in a porcelain doll shop! I have a collection of porcelain dolls. 🙂
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Book Review: The Black Bead by J. D. Lakey

Title: The Black Bead — by J. D. Lakey

Release Date: January 10, 2016

Page Count: 162

ISBN-13: 978-0692609477

 

Summary for The Black Bead (from the inside flap)

What if you were on a colony ship and your spacecraft landed on a planet where all the animals and some of the plants were psychic? Not just psychic but psychically adept at manipulating their environment?

If you were a band of renegade scientists, you would genetically alter yourself and your children to be able to compete in the savage world of escalating mind games and then create a social system that honed the skills that would keep you alive.

Cheobawn has been born into just such a world. Two thousand years after planet-fall, she is the culmination of human bio-engineering. She doesn’t think of herself as special. Just the opposite, in fact. But the universe is shifting out from under her feet and she is forced to keep up with the changes happening inside her and the expectations of the adults of her tribal dome.

My Review

The Black Bead was a very interesting and compelling book. The book was a quick read and I had a difficult time putting it down. The story was very intriguing and had interesting characters as well. I liked the fact that the book contained a map and two glossaries. I found these items to be quite helpful as I was reading.

J. D. Lakey did a wonderful job with imagery throughout the story. I could clearly picture every situation. The author created a lush and vibrant world that was filled with dangers that left the reader wondering whether the characters would be able to survive or not. Speaking of characters, they were very interesting and well-developed. My favorite characters were Cheobawn and Tam who showed great courage throughout the story and matured by the end of the book.

I liked the way J. D. Lakey incorporated different mystical elements into the story. Many of the characters had psychic abilities and Cheobawn, the main character, was able to manipulate her own chi. These mystical elements were interwoven seamlessly into the Cheobawn’s world.

Link to download The Black Bead:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Bead-Book-One-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01AIK7OSM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

First Chapter First Paragraph: The Apple Tart of Hope

Hi Everyone,

This is my first time trying First Chapter First Paragraph Intros. This weekly link-up is hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea. If you would like to join, just share the first paragraph or a few paragraphs from the first chapter of the book that you’re currently reading or that you’re planning on reading. Today’s pick is The Apple Tart of Hope by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald.

-Avery

The First Three Paragraphs of Chapter 1:

They had to have an ambulance outside in case someone fainted.Men with green armbands directed traffic.Someone had written “FULL” in red on a sign and hung it on the entrance to the car park. Neighbors opened their gates.

Inside, big strips of paper had been taped to the first four rows of seats  on which another sign read, “RESERVED FOR 3R” because only the people in his class were allowed to site there.

Everyone looked dazed. It was the Day of Prayer for Oscar Dunleavy, who was missing, presumed dead—and no one ever gets used to that.

Summary from Goodreads:

Oscar Dunleavy, who used to make the world’s most perfect apple tarts, is missing, presumed dead. No-one seems too surprised, except for Meg, his best friend, and his little brother Stevie. Surrounded by grief and confusion, Meg and Stevie are determined to find out what happened to Oscar, and together they learn about loyalty and friendship and the power of never giving up hope.

What does everyone think? Would you keep reading this book?

Author Interview with J. A. George and E-book Giveaway!

Hi Everyone,

I did an interview with J.A. George, a YA fantasy writer from the UK. J.A. George will be giving away 2 e-copies of her new book Gifted. To enter the giveaway just scroll to the bottom of the interview and click on the link. Good luck to everyone!

-Avery

Interview with J. A. George

1. When and why did you begin writing?
I have always loved to write, but I didn’t begin writing with the intention to publish until late 2013. I began writing GIFTED because I wanted to read it. I wanted to read a contemporary YA fantasy novel that didn’t feature instant-love, ‘the chosen one’ or a young woman born in a dystopian society, and so I wrote one. I started off with a basic plot line and before long, I was immersed in my fictional world. I wanted to know what happened next, to characters, to relationships and to the story line. So I carried on writing.

2. Where are you from?
London, England, but I’m currently studying in Sheffield.

3. What inspired you to write your first book?
People. I’ve been asked this question many times before and I’ve never really known how to answer it until today. There wasn’t really a moment or catalyst that sparked the idea for the GIFTED series, so I always assumed it was just an idea that popped into my head one afternoon. GIFTED isn’t my first written novel, but it’s my first published one. People inspired it because GIFTED compressed into one line is: a story about ordinary young adults with extra-ordinary gifts. I believe each person has an extra-ordinary gift—it just might not be of the supernatural kind!

4. How did you come up with the title?
It just seemed to fit. My book is about gifted individuals. I thought about other titles, but nothing seemed to work as well for me. There are a few books out there with the same title, hence why I always add the series title when advertising or promoting. GIFTED – The Hayven Series.

5. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Find what makes you different and be it. Simple as that!

6. What books have most influenced your life most?
Believe it or not, Roald Dahl. I feel like I’m repeating myself, but Roald Dahl’s books are usually about ordinary people going through extra-ordinary events. It’s a message that seems to have stuck with me and fascinated me for years.

7. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Alive? Malorie Blackman. Dead? Roald Dahl.

8. What book are you reading now?
I’ve recently finished The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay and I loved it. I never thought I’d be interested in the murder mystery genre, but I really enjoyed this one!

9. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Karen Joy Fowler. I’m not sure if she is new or not, but she is new to me. I read her novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and can’t wait to read more from her. I just love the way she writes. I can’t describe it or compare it to anyone else I’ve read; it’s just different, and I really like different.

10. What are your current projects?
The second novel in the Gifted series. I’ve still got some work to do on it. Quite a bit actually!

11. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
It’s too soon to tell. GIFTED was published on the 13th of April so it all seems perfect to me now. Yet I know I’ll catch something when I read it in paperback format!

12. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My teachers in school used to praise me for my creative writing and it was always nice to have something you’re naturally good at. I didn’t think of it as a career until a few years ago and now it’s all I can think about.

13. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! How about the first page?

Someone was watching me.

I turned the corner onto Dulscent Street, normally busy at five in the evening, but always deserted when it was raining. I looked back and caught the tail of a long black coat. Or it could have been a long black skirt. Trying to open my eyes wider was pointless because whatever I’d seen had already gone and I only saw what I’d squinted my eyes to avoid – flying strands of my brown hair and stray rain droplets.

A woman stepped out of the dental practice on the other side of the road, her heels clicking on the pavement as she ran to her car, climbed inside and drove off. Only a few other shops were open out of the many lining the street since most owners decided to close early on a Saturday. The dull, cloud-heavy sky drowned the entire town in grey, so I supposed shopping wasn’t what people had in mind.

That’s probably who was watching me, someone on their way home. Why were they staring at me? Well, I did the same thing when it was only me and another person and they couldn’t see me. I shook off the the call is coming from inside the house feeling and carried on up the hill. The wind blustered downwards, coercing my umbrella and me in opposite directions. My boyfriend jacket released itself from my one-handed grip, the zip scratching my palm as it did and flapped behind me. My fault for thinking a jacket one size down from my actual size would fit.

14. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
At first, I tried to please everyone. I wanted this book to do well and in order for it to do well, it has to sell. It took me two years to realise that pleasing everyone in one book is impossible. So I stopped writing for others and wrote for myself. I’m much happier because of that.

15. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Again, Roald Dahl. Being able to bring magic to life isn’t easy. Yet, he managed to do it for children and adults. But my favourite book is A Thousand Splendid Suns. I think Khaled Hosseini is a wonderful storyteller.

16. Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, but it’s very early days, who knows what might happen. I hope so, though because I love to travel.

17. Who designed the cover(s)?
Alisha from Damonza.com. She’s amazing. I actually wrote a blog post about my book cover journey if you’d like to read more about it:
http://www.thejourneyofgifted.co.uk

18. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Overcoming the reality that I couldn’t please everyone.

19. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learnt to write for myself and no-one else. That’s usually the first bit of advice, after ‘keep writing’, authors get given. I heard it, but never took it into account. Now I have. Better late than never! When you write for yourself, you care less about sales and more about how far you’ve come with the novel. Writing a novel isn’t easy, so it’s nice to sit down and tell yourself you’ve done well to just write one.

20. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing because if you want to be an author, you have no other choice. And write for yourself—trust me on that one.

21. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy GIFTED. I really enjoyed writing it so I can only hope you enjoy reading it!

22. What inspires you?
Opportunities and possibilities.

23. What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Developing my characters. It’s so strange to say, but the more you write about them, the more real they become.

24. How do you find or make time to write?
It’s really bad, but I tend to push everything else aside because writing is always much more fun than anything else I need to do. I always try to write down an idea that pops into my head before it vanishes and sometimes that’s all I’ll write that day. Other days, I might write over two thousand words. However, I do prioritise, but writing does tend to take up most of my time!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


 

Summary of Gifted by J. A. George:

There is no chosen one in this story.

She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day.

Avery Gray is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come. Up until now, the biggest choice she’s had to make was glasses or contacts? At the moment, it’s stay and save, or leave and be saved.

Allow me to explain. One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter.

But change is not always bad. Avery meets Theodore-James Connors, an enigmatic young man who takes her to Hayven, a city separated from the rest of the world, where only gifters – ordinary people with extra-ordinary gifts – can go. She soon finds herself in a close-knit group of friends she’d never have imagined herself in; friends who are diverse in every possible way, from their ethnic backgrounds, to their personalities, from their gifts, to their life stories. Friends who make her laugh, who make her cry, who make her think and who make her…her.

However, change is not always good. The beautiful, golden city of Hayven has its dark side – Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, aka, Cliders are determined to aid fallen Clider, Madrina, return to rule Hayven. They will stop at nothing to make that happen, including harming those Ava has grown to love. Again, Ava is faced with a choice: spend her days finding a way to inhibit Madrina’s return, or walk away. After all, she isn’t the chosen one. Yet, there exists a third option – rig the future itself and make it work for her.


J. A. George’s Links:

Website

Goodreads

Purchase Gifted

Twitter Handle : @JGeorgie_

Feature & Follow: 3

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Feature and Follow is a blog hop hosted by Rachel from Parajunkie and Alison from AlisonCanRead. I’m new to this and I’m starting to get the hang of it. This is my third time attempting the Feature and Follow blog hop. If you decide to follow my blog, I would prefer that you follow it by email.

Here is the prompt: What is your criteria for a misbehaving author/reviewer?

My Response:

I think that authors should treat their reviewers in a professional and respectful manner. Authors who personally attack a reviewer who gave their book a low rating are definitely misbehaving. Also, a reviewer who personally attacks an author instead of simply reviewing the author’s book is also misbehaving. In addition, an author or reviewer who makes racist or sexist comments in public is someone who’s work I will certainly try to avoid.

Feature & Follow: 2

Feature and Follow is a blog hop hosted by Rachel from Parajunkie and Alison from AlisonCanRead. I’m new to this so I’m not sure exactly how this works. This is my second time attempting the Feature and Follow blog hop. If you decide to follow my blog, I would prefer that you follow it by email.

Here is the prompt: First physical description of a character that you find appealing

My Response:

I’m going to interpret this as meaning the first character description that I find appealing currently. Xander Spence from The Distance Between Us by Kasie West is one of my favorite characters of all time and he is the first charcter that came to mind when I was thinking about this prompt. If I had the book in my possession I would quote a description from it of him, but since I do not have the book in hand I will have to rely on my memory. From what I remember Xander is tall, dark and handsome. He has olive skin and is incredibly charming. My favorite feature of Xander’s is the color of his eyes; they are brown with gold flecks in them.

-Avery

Feature and Follow: Summarize your favorite 10 books in 7 Words

Hi Everyone,

I’m joining this blog hop for the first time. The blog hop is hosted by Alison from Alison can read and by Rachel from Parajunkie. I’m new to this so I’m not exactly sure how this works. Today’s challenge is to summarize your favorite ten books using only seven words.

Here goes:

1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Children find magical world via a wardrobe.

2. Lord of the Nutcracker Men by Iain Lawrence

Boy realizes the gruesome reality of war.

3. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

Unicorn becomes human to save her kind.

4. Prism by Faye and Aliza Kellerman

Teenagers must escape from an alternate universe.

5. Heartlight by T. A. Barron

Girl traverses the universe to save Earth.

6. The Boy at the End of the World by Greg Van Eekhout

Boy finds home in post-apocalyptic Earth.

7. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Couple overcome their differences to be together.

8. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Man learns about life through caring for another.

9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson

Young boy learns about the value of friendship.

10. Night by Elie Wiesel

Boy changed forever by concentration camp experience.

 

Let me know what you think!

-Avery