Monday, June 30, 2014

Preview: Waken by Angela Fristoe

While it will be my fourth book published, Waken is actually the first novel I ever wrote. Thankfully it has gone through many rounds of revisions and while it's not quite ready for release, I have been working on this last round of revisions like crazy and hope to have editing done by the end of July!

Back in 2010, Waken was called The Evolution of Janie and won the Romance category of The Strongest Start contest on The Next Big Writer. Since then I've revamped pretty much everything after those first 3 chapters and am finally happy with the direction the story has gone.

So to keep myself motivated, I am going to post a sample each week until it is published!

by Angela Fristoe
Release: Fall 2014

Excerpt from Chapter 1

I smoothed my hand over the delicate etching on the small wooden box that sat on my dresser then lifted the lid. Shifting through the various necklaces, I searched for the one I wanted. The last time I’d seen it, my mother had tried to rip it from my neck. In the six years since she left, I hadn’t even thought of it.

Now it called to me. It was burrowed in a corner of the box. The silver charm twirled as I pulled the knotted chain free, the one tangible piece of evidence that I had a mother and father, from the mess. A small wolf silhouette dangled from the chain. I reached up and caught the charm between my thumb and finger, turning it so I could see clearly.

My thumb brushed across it and I jerked as suddenly the air was sucked from the room. Everything turned black and then just as quickly burst with color. A cool breeze settled around me and the colors shifted, taking on solid forms.

My room was gone and sunlight filtered through towering trees as I found myself at the edge of a pool of water.

A waterfall thunders behind me. Cold fingers wrap around my neck, squeezing. I reach up, my hands flailing, pushing against her cheeks. My vision blurs and a burning pain fills my chest as I gasp for breath.

Twisting my fingers into her pale hair, I wrench with all my strength. Her scream shatters the calm of the forest, the pain in my ears more intense than that of my starving lungs. She throws me from her and I crumple to the hard ground, gasping for air. Her hand touches her bleeding scalp. A patch of blonde locks is tangled between my fingers.

“I should have killed you the day I found out about you,” she spits, wiping her hand along her hip. A deep red streak mars the pristine white gown.

I begin to scramble back. She’s on me before I can move. Razor sharp nails bite into my arm as she drags me to the water’s edge, thrusting me under its crystal surface. The shock of the icy water freezes my muscles.

Submerged in the frigid depths of the pool I can hear the thundering of the waterfall as it plunges through the water, echoing the pounding of my heart. Vivid green eyes glare at me, filled with every ounce of hatred she has for me. I clutch her wrist and strain to break free. My exhausted lungs ache for air, but her grasp is unbreakable. I take a breath and icy water fills my lungs. My body jerks in agony as my chest feels ripped apart. I take another gulp, more pain. She disappears as the water churns with my struggles, but her grip remains, never weakening. My movements slow and gradually my stiff fingers relax their hold on her.

The water settles and I stare at her through the haze of color settling around me. Even distorted in fury, her face remains angelic. This is the real her. This is my mother.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review: The Pool Theory by Alexa Nazzaro
The Pool Theory
by Alexa Nazzaro
Published: June 19, 2013
Publisher: Two Pigeons Press
Available: Amazon

After years of feeling like a loser, fifteen year old Kye Penton finally has it made. With his new friend, Julian, and the cutest girl in English class by his side, it looks like his days of being a social outcast are ancient history. Until Annie Cooper shows up: pregnant and claiming the baby is his. Kye's life quickly unravels as he's pulled into a nightmare bigger than any bullying he has ever survived.

To start this review, I must begin at the end. I read the last chapter over and over, wondering if I was missing something. I was completely confused and not in a good way. It was abrupt, and anti-climactic, and left so many things hanging. I wanted clarity and some kind of resolution. This was my biggest issue with the story. I invested hours into read Kye's story that I was completely let down.

I have to say that by the end of the book Kye was a completely unlikeable character. So was Annie. And Claudia. And Julian. So much so that I was tempted to stop reading, but as I said before, I invested hours into reading and was holding out hope that one of them might redeem themselves.

The Pool Theory was not terrible, far from it. There were parts that were very well written and Nazzaro delved into a very serious subject from a perspective not often taken. I don't know how a 15-year-old boy would react to impending fatherhood, and maybe that is my issue. I would hope that if I had a son and he was in this situation, he'd be less selfish and more honest, that he would realize the seriousness of it and take responsibility for his actions.

* I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for reviewing this book.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blog Tour Sign Up: Kissed by Kimberly Loth
Kissed (The Thorn Chronicles)
By Kimberly Loth
Published: April 21, 2014

Trapped in a dark cult, sixteen-year-old Naomi Aren has lived a quiet, albeit unhappy, life nestled deep in the hills of the Ozarks. With uncut hair, denim skirts, and only roses for friends, Naomi seldom questions why her life is different from other kids at school. Until the day her abusive father, who is also the cult’s leader, announces her wedding. Naomi must marry Dwayne Yerdin, a bully who reeks of sweat and manure and is the only one person who scares her worse than her father.

Then she meets Kai, the mysterious boy who brings her exotic new roses and stolen midnight kisses. Kisses that bring her a supernatural strength she never knew she had. As the big day approaches, Naomi unearths more secrets of about her father’s cult. She learns she has power of her own and while Kai may have awakened that power, Naomi must find a way to use it to escape Dwayne and her father—without destroying herself. 

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Review: Dead (A Lot) by Howard Odentz

18287570Dead (A Lot)
by Howard Odentz
Published: July 31, 2013
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books

Last Friday night, the world changed-and not for the better. 

Zombies are among us. School's out for the foreseeable future, and with Mom and Dad at the lake house, my twin and I are on our own in this mess. Which is fine as long as we can avoid being on the menu.

Tripp Light's teenage world is suddenly filled with "poxers"-the infected ones, the ones that have the Necropoxy virus. In an entire world gone mad and bad, Tripp's only hope of survival is to clear a path through zombie land with his sister and head for the hills (aka his aunt's farm) to rendezvous with his parents.

Success clearly favors the fittest and the fastest. Survival demands the twins make hard, ruthless decisions, but that all changes when Tripp and his twin hear a distress call via the radio. Prianka Patel, a girl Tripp loves to hate, is trapped and surrounded in a bakery. Soon, the twins have quite a collection of misfits and survivors and miles to go before anyone can sleep safely again.
No matter where Tripp looks, everyone everywhere is dead.
Like really dead... a lot.

Zombie book are my current favorite read, yet I have come to the realization that not all zombie books are equal. Thankfully, Dead (A Lot) is on the positive side of that equation. Odentz manages to create a zombie novel that is not simply a zombie book.

The character Tripp is an amusing and probably pretty accurate portrayal of a teenage boy. He's not the politically correct main character that we can view as perfect. He's rude and childish at times, chauvinistic and even discriminates against a physically disabled man. Yet, he is likable, because he isn't spiteful and most importantly he changes and grows. If you don't like Tripp in the first few chapters, keep reading.

The only issue I had was with the ending. I felt it was a bit rushed and wished Odentz had spent just a few more pages fleshing things out.