Saturday, April 21, 2012

Book Review: Sela

I am proud to be a stop on the blog tour for Sela, Jackie Gamber's follow-up novel to Redheart, which I read and reviewed last year. See the remaining stops over at the publisher's website.

Sela by Jackie Gamber

Peace was fleeting. Vorham Riddess, Venur of Esra Province, covets the crystal ore buried deep in Leland's mountains. His latest device to obtain it: land by marriage to a Leland maiden. But that's not all.

Among Dragonkind, old threats haunt Mount Gore, and shadows loom in the thoughts of the Red who restored life to land and love. A dragon hunter, scarred from countless battles, discovers he can yet suffer more wounds.

In the midst of it all, Sela Redheart is lost, driven from her home with only her old uncle to watch over her. As the dragon-born child of Kallon, the leader of Leland's Dragon Council, she is trapped in human form with no understanding of how she transformed, or how to turn back.

Wanderers seek a home, schemes begin to unfurl, and all is at risk as magic and murder, marriage and mystery strangle the heart of Esra. A struggle for power far older and deeper than anyone realizes will leave no human or dragon unaffected.

In a world where magic is born of feeling, where the love between a girl and a dragon was once transformative, what power dwells in the heart of young Sela? [Source]

I received this novel for review from the publisher.

Sela is book 2 in Jackie Gamber's Leland Dragon series of fantasy novels about dragons. These books are great for fantasy novel lovers aged 10 and up.

Riza and Kallon are back, although our main characters now focus on Sela and Drell. Some of the main characters from Redheart are also back, and I have mixed feelings about them. However, my review of Redheart included spoilers, and I am going to try to keep this review spoiler-free.

Sela is the human daughter of Riza and Kallon. Drell is the dragon son of Fordan Blackclaw, Kallon's enemy. There is peace in the Leland province, but peace is rarely long-lasting. Greedy, vicious humans are trying to take over the mountains, and there is more than one sneaky party with a hidden agenda.

The wonderfully wacky wizard Orman is back, as well as the meddling (with good intentions) wizard Layce. I must say, those two together make quite a pair. I loved the relationship between Orman and Layce. Their banter and both of their personalities provide a good amount of giggles and chuckles as I was reading. We also had a few new secondary characters that acted as friends and allies for Sela when she needed them most. I loved that she wasn't alone in her journey.

I was also extremely pleased that the novel followed the basic elements of story grammar, just as Redheart did. Gamber takes great care in her writing to build up tension and emotions. She builds her characters, rather than plopping them down in a weak plot. She describes the setting and uses it to support to the plot. She leaves her readers on the edge of their seats, gripping the pages, thirsting for more.

About the author: As an award winning author, Jackie writes stories ranging from ultra-short to novel-length... She is the author of the fantasy novel Redheart, and writing an alternate history time travel novel. She blogs professionally for English Tea, where she reviews classic science fiction and fantasy novels and pairs them with the ideal tea-sipping companion. Jackie is a member of the professional organizations Science Fiction Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. (via)


Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 TBR PILE reading challenge

Ever since I heard about this, I have been planning to participate. My TBR shelf is full, piles and piles of books that I want to read. I am not setting my goals too lofty. I am planning on reading 13 books (Level 2- A friendly hug) off the shelf, to allow time for other books I want to read, and for books for review.

I probably won't be posting reviews because, as it is, I barely have enough time to read. Hence, I won't be participating in the giveaways. That being said, I have no idea if I will be participating in the mini-challenges. We'll see what happens as the year progresses.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Please Note

Please note that I will not be taking any more review requests for the next few weeks. I have been backed up for a long time; I am trying to get caught up. Please wait until January 15th to request a review.

Thank you!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blood Drive Giveaway WINNER!

Last Tuesday, I interviewed Traci Houston, the author of Blood Drive. The publisher send finished copies of this new hot vampire novel to every blog on the tour so we could give them away.

I had 3 entries for my giveaway of the novel and I used to pick a winner.

Comment #3 was left by Vivien (deadtossedwaves@...). Congrats to Vivien!

It is the winner's responsibility to check their email (including junk/spam folders) and respond within 48 hours, or another winner will be drawn.

To the 2 of you who didn't win, remember: you can download it on Amazon now!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blood Drive Tour: Interview with Traci Houston

For today's stop on this tour, I am interviewing Traci Houston, the author of Blood Drive! Be sure to read through to the bottom of this post.

1. How did you come up with the idea for Blood Drive?
Blood drive evolved overtime. I’ve said many times that I’m a big fan of ‘what if’. When I began reading vampire novels questions would pop up in my head. One day I picked up a pen and began answering them. I read quite a bit of romance too and was sometimes annoyed by the heroine. I can’t stand it when the heroine is whiny or weak. When she cries for pages about how she isn’t able to be with her love. I wanted Cara to be her own person, not an extension of the man she’s with. I wanted her to be real.

2. Without spoiling anything, what is your favorite part of the book, and why?
My favorite part of the book isn’t a particular scene, it’s the characters when they are all together and the way they interact with each other. Even if they’re fighting, I like the way they play off one another, nag, defend, and annoy. I like the idea of a cohesive unit. One that can’t be interfered with by outside forces. I didn’t want a love triangle, the tension is sometimes delicious but I didn’t want it for these characters. I didn’t want a traitor in the ranks because I wanted them to always be there for each other. These friends will never turn their backs on each other and never betray one another.

3. Do you have a playlist, or just a few songs in particular, that helped you write Blood Drive?
Blood drive was written to three cds. 3 Doors Down, Matchbox Twenty and Lifehouse. I played them as loud as I could without bringing the walls down. I like all types of music but I’ve found I write best to rock. I appreciate music that had a story and the three bands that I mentioned have a talent for making me see the music. See the story they’re trying to tell.

4. Tell us a little bit about your writing history. When did you first realize you enjoy writing, when did you decide to get published, etc.
I always dabbled at journaling when I was young but I never remembered to do it every day. In middle school I wrote a little poetry and when something upset me I would take out all my frustration on a piece of unsuspecting piece of paper. As a sophomore we had to do a report and I chose to do it on stars that died tragically, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and James Dean. I loved writing that paper. I liked the way I was able to put the words together and make them flow and evoke emotion. My English teacher entered into a contest and I never saw it again, it saddens me to this day. When I was seventeen I started my first book, Eternity. It still has no ending but I keep it sitting on my desk because someday I’ll find the words for it.

5. What was on your summer reading list?
I have a huge library, so this summer I took to organizing my books. As I was doing it I came across a few favorites and started re-reading them. Fear Nothing and Seize The Night by Dean Koontz. Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. Public Secrets and Sweet Revenge by Nora Roberts. Next on my list is Simon R Green’s, The Spy Who Haunted Me. He’s also got a fabulous series about a Private investigator in a very interesting place called The Nightside.

6. Anything else you'd like to share?
I’d just like to say thank you to everyone for all of the support and positive feedback for Blood Drive. There’s always a little doubt when it comes to how others will like your work, I was terrified, but so far most everyone has enjoyed it so I’m thrilled and for the few that didn’t, I’m okay with that too. Not everyone likes the same thing. I just try to take what I can from the criticism and use it to be a better writer.

Thank you, Traci!

You can read my review of Blood Drive here, then download it on Amazon, and then go to Traci's facebook to tell her how much you love her debut novel.

If you've been following the blog tour since the start, you've already had 6 chances to win a finished copy...
Here's your 7th chance! Just leave me a comment with your email address.

Becoming a follower is not required; US and Canada only, please. If you do not include your email address in your comment, your entry will not be counted. Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST on Sunday, October 23. Winner will be drawn using, posted here, and emailed on Monday, October 24th. It is the winner's responsibility to check their email (including junk/spam folders) and respond within 48 hours, or another winner will be drawn.

UPDATED! This giveaway will now end 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, October 25th. Winner be drawn, posted, and emailed on Wednesday, October 26th. Thanks!

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