Friday, May 30, 2014

I'm such a Mopsies junkie!

All right, let's get back on track here. I have resettled from my vacation euphoria to one of the best countries on the globe, completed my interview for the book tour of two amazing authors, and settled in my inherited chickens. Yes, you read me correctly. I am now the proud owner of seven chickens of varying breeds. My neighbors are moving and did not plan on relocating the chickens with them, so I am now the proud mama hen. As my title states I'm such a Mopsies junkie. And, I also now have time to give you this wonderful review.

A Lady of Spirit by Shelley Adina

This go around we get to delve into the back story for the other half of the Mopsies, Maggie de Maupassant... or is it? You will have to read to find out. 

While we once again get a delicate braid of Lizzie's (and possibly Tigg's) and the Lady's story within Maggie's, each novel is completely unique to fit the very unique identity of the girls. While they may have grown up attached at the hip, they have evolved into their own person. Just one of many reasons why these are easily becoming my favorite series. There is so much raw storytelling talent that shines in the individuality of these novels as a series. 

I finished the entire book in two days; I just could not put it down. (Who needs sleep or food?) We have survived the disaster of meeting Lizzie's real family and now progress forward to finding a space for Maggie. There are still so many questions floating in the air from the last book. As a teen turning into an adult, Maggie certainly struggles with not understanding how she fits into the puzzle; especially in the face of such open, hostile diversity. The women in this series are certainly proving to have the muster to make something of themselves outside expectations. I give extreme kudos to Maggie for wanting to pursue genetics research. These are extremely smart lasses.

However, it wouldn't be a Mopsie story if there wasn't an element of disaster and mayhem (and pirates?). Such wonderful steampunk glory abounds in this novel. We are moving from the world of dirigibles (which I appreciate not being over used in this series) into an underwater leviathan (very 20,000 Leagues) of engineering and the reappearance of an old enemy... and friend.  We even get a new brood to love and interrupt those too serious moments in life, Rosie's daughters, Holly and Ivy.

I was slightly disappointed with the obvious, cliche happy ending. So I think I'm going to have to only give this one 4 and 3/4 stars. I'm slightly fatalistic and get a little put off by happily ever after, so I think most people will find this to be a 5 star book.

If you haven't purchased a copy yet, what are you waiting for? Do you want some even better news? A Lady of Integrity is coming November 2014. I am so stoked. I thought the seventh book was going to take a turn into the lives of the gentleman of the series, but maybe not? I don't know, but I'm itching to find out. Keep checking back for what I learn.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Good Morning, Bookworms!

Welcome to the second day of Abi Ketner's and Missy Kalicicki's blog tour. Branded is being released a second time in June with additional content and jazzed up cover. How about a little taste before you dive into the post today?
Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.
Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.
It is amazing to be a part of this mega event to spread the word about a uniquely great dystopia for young adults. I was given the opportunity to do an interview with both authors. Check out the fabulous results below.

Amy) The voice of your story is so seamless it amazes me that there are two authors. How do you go about sharing the writing load? Does one of you handle certain scenes and then mesh them all together, or is there another method to the greatness?

A & M) This is probably the most popular question people ask us. We have always talked about and shared books we enjoyed. We've also been close friends since 1999, so our friendship has already weathered a lot of changes. It was never really a choice to co-author... it was just something we did because it worked. We both have different strengths we bring to the table, and so capitalizing on those strengths came easy. There are definitely bonuses too. We can critique each other's writing, we spur each other on with new ideas for scenes and characters, and we get to share in the highs and lows of being writers. As far as our process, well, it's so intertwined sometimes you can't really tell who is writing what. We both have ideas and scenes and sometimes we hand things off to each other just because we know the other person might be able to write it better. Most of the time though, everything you read has been touched by both of us. :)

Amy) The rebranding (have to love a pun as writer) of your story has been pretty remarkable. What gave you the resolve to publish [yet another] young adult dystopian novel in today's market? --I have to admit I am very happy you did since your story is incredibly different in its disgusting reality. 

A & M) Honestly, it was never our plan to publish Branded. We wrote as a hobby, and enjoyed just having Lexi spill her story into our minds. So, we never thought about the market, nor did we worry about it. We love dystopian books and so we wrote what we love. We wanted Branded to be different. Unique. For one, 
we don’t use any sci-fi, which honestly makes it harder for us to write. We also wanted a stronger romance component. And as far as the violence… it’s real. We decided to self-publish when we sent the manuscript to an editor, and she wrote back this premise is amazing. So we talked about it and said hey why not, we can try to self-publish. It wasn’t until Michelle from Novels on the Run blog read the first chapter and told us it’s the best first chapter she’s ever read. Michelle gave us that spark. The spark we needed to believe,
maybe, just maybe, someone will like this book. Branded was only going to be a one book, not a series, but our editor talked us into making it into a series. So we had to go back and change the ending. Our series will be full of twists and turns and it is a dystopian novel, so you never know what’s going to happen next. We never plan ahead much we just write. We let Lexi lead the way. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true… you character really will tell you what they want to do. But, we write what we love and it doesn’t mean our readers will love everything we write, but again, it’s about Lexi and her journey.

Amy) How have your found the published route of writing different from your indie, self-published route? Do you prefer one method over the other? 

A & K) As of right now, we are still self-published. We were lucky enough to land the best agent around. We had hundreds of rejections, and most were because it was a dystopian. But when Stacey our agent read Branded, she fell in love with it and believed in our story. We couldn’t believe an agent wanted to sign us. We still can’t. And Stacey knows a how hard it is to sell a dystopian novel, but she wanted us. So all we can say at this time is, we are still self-published.

Amy) Do you have any exclusive, sneak-peek, leaked materials of Hunted for us hungry fans? 

A & K) Like we said before, we just write and let Lexi lead the way. We write the first draft as it flows out of our heads. After we are done, we go back and change things. So we can’t give a sneak peak because it might be there now, but we could always change it. We will say this, be prepared, it’s not fun being HUNTED.

I like being left on that note. Looks to me like we have some great things to be looking forward to in the next of the Branded series (that wasn't even supposed to be a series--good push by the agent there to get more of this great story!)

You can keep in touch with Abi and Missy at their website, follow them on Twitter, or check out their Facebook page. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

So confused when vacation is over

I have been on vacation in Northern Ireland. I have very mixed feelings about being back. I truly love being over there. I feel at peace and at home. However, I also feel happy to back in my actual home. So now that my brain is back in one piece (I think), I will be adding a couple of reviews for the books I read. Yes, that is what I do with my vacations, I read. Obvious nerd alert.

What do you think of the nice banner up above? Pretty sweet. Come back Tuesday for some cool goodies in my interview with the authors. I'm incredibly awed to be a part of this adventure for Abi and Missy.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Coming Soon

To a bookstore near you! I crack myself up. More serious now. The conclusion to the Sundering series will be hitting shelves in June this year. I have become highly impressed with the ability of Wizards of the Coast to put out six novels so quickly. As a voracious reader, I love having the entire series within 10 months. Sure, there have been some unique hiccups (for me) with six authors contributing to the overall plot arc, but it worked for me by this conclusion. I now have an appreciation for the multi-author genre. I can't say that I have been turned into a fan but appreciate the intricacy that goes along with co-writing. 

Ed Greenwood raps up the story of world domination and apocalypse with The Herald coming to stores 3 June 2014.

Visit the ever amazing Wizards of the Coast website to pre-order, see cool maps, and learn about all things Faerun and Forgotten Realms. This video explains the relationship authors have to develop their stories into one seamless blend of reading goodness.