Blog Tour: Enmity (Guest Post)

Enmity-Blog-Tour_long

EJ Andrews pic

E.J. Andrews was raised in a small town on the west coast of New Zealand by a gold miner with a fascination for guns and a nurse with an obsession with dragons.

Growing up, E.J. constantly felt that she needed to write down the vivid thoughts going around her head, but it wasn’t until her aunt gave her John Marsden’s Tomorrow series to read that her writing bloomed and her interest in books became a full-blown fixation.

At the age of eighteen she decided to live with her sister in Brisbane, Australia, where she found a job working at a boat club on the beautiful Moreton Bay. In between split shifts and while others her age were out enjoying their adolescence, E.J. was writing well into the early hours, trying to get down those ever-present ideas of a not-so-bright future.

E.J. now lives on the Redcliffe peninsula with her partner and their cat Senga, as she continues to write about the world of Enmity.

5 Things I Love About My Characters

  • Each character has something special about them

Every character has something that makes them unique — whether it’s Lola’s hairstyle; Marina’s beautiful brain; Chase’s agility; or, Georgie’s sincere emotion.

  • Even I’m not quite sure what they will do

In one scene, Lola collapses in the kitchen, this came from a completely unknown place to me, but I found it to be hilarious! It then set up a nice scene for Nate and Robert without it being too serious; a little bit of humour to cut the tension is always good!

  • Neither main character could sit by and let the other tell the story alone

Nate’s ‘voice’ came through first and I knew his story would be phenomenal to write. But then Hermia came into my head and her sassy and kickass attitude balanced Nate’s compassion and self-assuredness, in a way that I knew both characters had to tell the story. There are two sides to every story after all!

  • Flaws, Flaws and more Flaws! But wait, is that a redeeming quality?

It’s true, my characters do have a lot of flaws, and I’ll admit that! Hermia is very distant and closed character, which becomes more explained as the story progresses. But Hermia is actually a really good friend for Nate to have. As Nate starts to question who he is when he discovers he has been lied to his whole life, Hermia ‘helpfully’ reminds him that he is still the same person he has always been. This is exactly what he needs, a swift kick of reality!

  • Quirks. And then more Quirks?

I love how there are things about my characters that are a little quirky! For example, Chase doesn’t know the names of the days of the week. (You’re probably thinking ‘say what?’ but he has a different way of describing them). Nate can bring out his cheeky side every now and then. And Hermia has some very serious sarcasm issues – it’s something that I could relate most to with her. Every character’s idiosyncrasy was so much fun to write when it would creep up in the story.

9781743566213_0414_Enmity_CVREnmity (Enmity #1) by C.J. Andrews

Love vs Life.
Good vs Evil.
War vs Warfare.

Which would you choose?

After a solar flare wipes out most of the world’s inhabitants, it leaves behind nothing but a desolate earth and a desperate population. Existence is no longer a certainty. And with factions now fighting for the power to rule, people start to become reckless with their lives. The world has become a dangerous place.

Amongst the ensuing chaos, Nate and Hermia — two victims of the new world order — are taken against their will to The Compound. Joined by eight other teenagers all chosen for a specific reason, Nate and Hermia are forced to train as assassins to overthrow the current president and make way for a new leader of the free world. Here, they learn to plan, fight, and most importantly… to survive.

Except, despite the casual cruelty of their new existence, both Nate and Hermia — two very strong but very different people — begin to form fragile bonds within the group. But they soon realize their happiness is short lived…because their training is just the beginning.

A war awaits…regardless of how ready or willing they may be.

Teaser Tuesdays: The Immortal Prince

 

teaser

Tides, how did this happen?  he wondered as they turned and headed back across the lawn to the palace.  An hour ago, he had control of his life and the lives of those for whom he was responsible.  Suddenly, it had all slipped from his grasp.

~page 264

tide lords 1The Immortal Prince (Tide Lords #1) by Jennifer Fallon

 

He’s insisting he’s a Tide Lord and he’s begging us to try again…to kill him, that is.

When a routine hanging goes wrong, the survivor announces he is Cayal the immortal Prince, a Tide Lord. However, the only known record of the immortal beings of Amyrantha is the Tide LordTarot…and everyone knows it is only a parlour-game, an amusement.

Arkady Desean, an expert on the legends of the Crasii – a part-animal, part-human race – is sent to interrogate Cayal. But in exposing this would-be immortal, Arkady’s own web of deceit threatens to unravel.

Nothing is as it seems around the Immortal Prince. The lies seem plausible, his stories improbable…and the the truth is more than any of them bargined for.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read • Open to a random page • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Review: Steadfast

steadfastSteadfast by Claudia Gray

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Source: paperback copy courtesy of publisher

What I remember most from Spellcaster is the beginning followed by the ending. It was a great beginning, which I loved, whilst the ending left me a little unbalanced. Steadfast also has a terrific beginning which sets the tone of the book. And again, the ending left me somewhat unbalanced.

It began at the graveyard and ended in a ruin. It was an exciting beginning, at which pace the story was kept then was ramped up for the last 100 pages; I really couldn’t put it down and had to finish it (consequences be damned!). The stakes are a lot higher in Steadfast and Nadia is truly unequal to the forces she’s determined to fight against. Still, this did not undermine her goodness but rather highlights her courage to fight for those she loves. This is what I love about Nadia most though there were moments of frustration with some of her failed / misfired spells (I understand that the author is merely highlighting Nadia’s not-fully-trained-witch status though and sometimes, it’s a little bit funny).

Mateo and Nadia are the sweetest couple! They are so supportive of each other which doesn’t mean that they never exchange angry words but that they work through them. I must admit that now that they’re together, I sort of miss that tension of the first feels (ie. feeling when they first met, first chatted, etc etc etc) but there is a different sort of sweetness here which comes about from being in a relationship. There were times that their focus on each other made Verlaine felt excluded… though that may also be due to Verlaine’s curse.

Verlaine with all her quirkiness and bravery is lonely. She knows only 2 living people who truly love her and despite her understanding of the working of the world, she wishes it was not so. In all this, her courage is a lot more admirable than Nadia because I really don’t know if anyone else can live the way she has had to. Add in to this mix of trio is Asa –ow, he’s hot!, and without revealing too much, let me just say that he’s a very interesting & totally conflicted character. I can’t wait to find out how he’ll turn out later on in the series.

I have really enjoyed Steadfast a lot more than I did Spellcaster. Claudia Gray has woven some truly amazing twists to the story, developed some really interesting characters, and most of all a detailed-dark-and-broody world full of black magic. I can’t wait for the next instalment (which I hear is titled Sorceress, *eep, excitement!*)

Thank you, Harper Collins Australia for providing copy of book in exchange of honest review

View all my reviews

My Reading Week

It’s been another quiet week for me and due to the circumstance, it’s likely to be so for the next month too.  All I’m doing these days are go to work, come home, have dinner, shower and sleep… and practically nothing else.  I’m still reading a little, on the commute to work but that’s about it.

Even with my slow reading pace, I still couldn’t resist to buy a book this week.  It was one of my most anticipated 2014 release: The Cracks in the Kingdom (The Colors of Madeleine #2) by Jaclyn Moriarty.  I loved book 1 and am really excited to jump in to this gorgeous world once more!  Isn’t the cover beautiful?  My only regret is that it doesn’t match the edition of the first book I own :(

So, we’ve entered the third month of 2014 and this means that the Take Control of Your TBR Pile challenge has started!  I must confess that I’ve got about 4 NetGalley titles I’ve not yet read that will expire this month soooo I’m really setting myself up for a Big Epic Fail :p  Still… I’ve started reading my first book, The Immortal Prince (Tide Lords #1) by Jennifer Fallon.  It’s supposed to be a re-read but I haven’t found anything that sounds vaguely familiar yet (though I’m only about 80 pages in, of 658, so still have a fair way to go).

As my original challenge post explained, I’ll be focussing on different challenges per week so this week, it will be:

Week 1 (1-7 March): LOST challenge
2. The Gods of Amyrantha (Tide Lords #2) -the book on my LOST list
Author Jennifer Fallon is Australian so this will also fit in my AWW2014 challenge :D
cracks in the kingdom  tide lords 1  tide lords 2

Blog Tour: Jar of Pandora – Guest Post

 

Jar of Pandora (Book Two)
Only $0.99! 

Blurb:

Kasey Reese ran from a life of responsibility to study abroad in Deia, Spain. She hoped for an adventure, but what unfolded in Spain was beyond the imaginable. In that remote little village she met the love of her life, Dion – a twenty-year-old immortal saint.  Kasey and Dion return to America only to realize their love is challenged by s dysfunctional family.
Unique and action-packed, in this book Kasey learns that Pandora is her immortal grandmother. Determined to find her and to uncover many truths, Kasey sets out with Dion on a deadly journey. But answers come with a great cost – a three thousand year old prophecy, a feud of the gods and death.

 

Guest Post: 

How did you come up with the idea to write The Symbol of Hope series?

This story encompasses different aspects of life, faith, and the supernatural.  When I decided that I wanted to write a young adult novel with a female protagonist I knew exactly whom I wanted my heroine to be like. Kasey is loosely based off my favorite storybook character a young girl named Juniper, from the Juniper Game by Sherryl Jordan. I knew Kasey was to be a red headed, hippie sort of girl. I wanted her to come from a completely different background than the main male character. I also knew that no matter what direction the story took, my goal for Kasey was that she would discover her legendary bloodline and that her purpose on Earth was greater than she imagined.
Once I established Kasey, I then needed a story, an adventure for her. I also needed her male counterpart. This proved to be difficult. I had no clue what I was going to write about. One
frustrating day I decided to Google unknown rare legends and like a diamond in the ruff I found my precious answer.  A title flashed across my screen, Seven Sleepers.
I read an article about these seven men who went to sleep in a cave for 200 years to escape persecution from an Emperor. I fell in love with the legend and the idea of these self-sacrificing
men who were willing to give their lives.
The gears in my head started to turn.  I thought, jeez if I were a teenage girl, hell even an early thirties mom (which I am), wouldn’t I love to read about seven hot brothers who were willing to die for what they believed in. The answer was easy, of course! Therefore, I started to form the seven brothers. Dion, my main guy, was developed first. He was to be Kasey’s love interest. I spent a lot of time molding those two before I formed the others.
In a nutshell, I had all these great characters developed and no real story. I knew I wanted to use the back-story of the legend in mine and I knew I wanted mine to take place in real time. So
now, I had a few plot points in place. As a lover of Greek Mythology, I wanted to incorporate this somehow. That is just what I aimed to do.
The ideas started to flow quicker than I could get them down. I created an outline and never followed it. Once the writing got underway, the story took on a life of its own. I knew loosely what I wanted the end result to be, but not everything that happened in the story was how I originally envisioned the plot would go. Once I finished Men of the Cave, I knew without a doubt
how the series would end, but the journey to get there was not always clear and some of the things that happened along the way even surprised me.
About the Author

Teacher, mother, and wife, not in that order. I’m an extreme
Florida girl whose never seen snow. I believe white should be worn at funerals, not black. Studied at the University of Central Florida for a BA in English. If I can avoid close-toed shoes, I do. Born from Cuban immigrant parents I spoke Spanish before I spoke English. If you ever see me staring blankly into nothing, then my head is in a story.

Find out more about Marisette at:
                                       On Twitter

 

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Review: City of Jasmine

jasmineCity of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: paperback copy courtesy of publishers

There’s something glam about the world of the 1920s, isn’t there? And to top it of, the book is also set in the exotic desert land of Damascus. It’s the time when the Western world is digging for the riches of history to find all kinds of treasures. All this makes The City of Jasmine irresistible to me.

Evangeline Starke is a fun character to hang out with. She’s one spunky lady who dares to take on risks though really, this is a mask to the outside world. When she dared to face the past though, she found that things were more than they seemed. Gabriel Starke is a mysterious man and is, therefore, totally alluring. Really, I don’t want to say anymore about Gabriel because you really just need to read the book! ;)

I expected this book to be a light enjoyable romantic read. It was and more. Some of the turns of the story really took me by surprise and made it all the more exciting. I love the variety of minor characters and their quirks. oh, what would I give to have an elderly aunt like Aunt Dove! Each of these characters adds an additional dimension to the story. There is more to this book than just a love story; there is adventure, action, betrayals, intrigues, heroes, villains and forgiveness.

The City of Jasmine was a lovely read; full of evocative images (I feel the heat! That dry scorching heat of the dessert), exotic air (I kept trying to smell jasmine in the air), suspense (guns, planes, oh, let’s not forget the romance!), and just straight out fun (love the characters’ interactions). This is my first Deanna Raybourn but it’s definitely not the last! Did you know there is a prequel? Yep, that’s my next read, for sure!

Thank you, Harlequin Books Australia, for providing copy of this book

View all my reviews

Teaser Tuesdays: Steadfast

 

teaser

“Holy Christmas, what was that?”  Verlaine came up, already looking at the playback of the video on her phone.  “This town is getting even weirder.  Now we have possessed PTA mom wielding axes.”

~page 61

steadfastSteadfast (Spellcaster #2) by Claudia Gray

 

Nadia, Mateo, and Verlaine have saved Captive’s Sound from the dark Sorceress Elizabeth…or so they thought. Despite their best efforts, a crack opened and a new, greater evil seeped through. With Mateo as her Steadfast, Nadia’s magic is magnified and she is more powerful than ever. But there is still so much she doesn’t know about the craft, leaving her open and vulnerable to a darker magic…which has begun to call Nadia’s name.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read • Open to a random page • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!