Friday, March 29, 2013

Official Release Day



The Betrayed is now available for sale at these online retailers:


CreateSpace (print)
Smashwords (ebook version for every reading device)
Amazon (print)
Amazon (Kindle)
Barnes and Noble (Nook)

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Betrayed by Deborah Andreasen

The nice thing about having my own blog is that I can post about my own books. :)

The publication of The Betrayed is a little over two weeks away. That's coming right up! And here is the official cover of The Betrayed:

 Am I in love with this cover? Absolutely! I'm thrilled with the way it turned out. My poor designer sent me like six versions and I kept saying, "I like it, but..." Ultimately, I didn't love any of the drafts she sent me. The night before we were supposed to wrap it up, she texted and said she had one more draft and she thought I was really going to like it.

I was so nervous! What if I didn't? We were pushing up against a deadline and I needed that cover! But, one look and I went, "That's it. That's the one." What a relief!

Here's the back cover with the synopsis:



Is that amazing, or what? Sounds like a great book to me. I can't wait until it's released. 

It's now on Goodreads! Go, add it to your shelves and make me feel awesome. ;)

Starting this Friday, I'll post one quote a day from the book on my website: http://www.deborahandreasen.com



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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Book Review and Tour and Giveaway!: Shadow Eyes by Dusty Crabtree

Iris Kohl lives in a world populated by murky shadows that surround, harass, and entice unsuspecting individuals toward evil. But she is the only one who can see them. She’s had this ability to see the shadows, as well as brilliantly glowing light figures, ever since an obscure, tragic incident on her fourteenth birthday three years earlier.

Although she’s learned to cope, the view of her world begins to shift upon the arrival of three mysterious characters. First, a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows; second, a new friend with an awe-inspiring aura; and third, a mysterious and alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend.

As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, she must ultimately revisit the most horrific event of her life in order to learn her true identity and become the hero she was meant to be.

****

Shadow Eyes was ultimately a good read. For the first 3/4ths of the book, I just took my time. Reading it here or there, whenever I felt like it. It was an interesting but slow read.

For the last quarter of the book, I had to sit down and read it in one sitting. I felt like I was finally getting to the good stuff. Pieces started to click, mysteries were revealed. At one point, I even felt my heart racing a bit. That's always a good sign.

The story was interesting and strong. Iris was pretty likeable, if somewhat a little lacking in confidence. There were a few times when I wanted to say, "Really? You just walked away from that?" She has the unique ability to help people and she completely avoids the situation rather than even contemplating how she can help at all. I would have liked to have seen her ease into it, even if she only did one or two good deeds through the whole book.

Patrick, the off limits love interest, was a gem. He was suspicious, and I had my preconceptions about him being a bad guy. But by the end of the book I was hoping there was some way he and Iris could be together.

There were a few things I didn't love. The dialogue between Iris and her friends sometimes felt forced, possibly fake. Occasionally, the similes left me scratching my head.

I liked that the characters were put in believable situations; things that young adults today actually face. There was no swearing and a few scenes of intense romance, though nothing explicit.

The ending was a pleasant cliffhanger that makes me anxious to find out the rest of the story.

**Don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win a print copy of Shadow Eyes, your full name in the sequel, and a KINDLE FIRE!**

Author Bio:

Dusty Crabtree has been a high school English teacher at Yukon High School in Oklahoma since 2006, a challenge she thoroughly enjoys. She is also a youth sponsor at Cherokee Hills Christian Church in Oklahoma City and feels very blessed with the amazing opportunities she has to develop meaningful relationships with teens on a daily basis.  Her passion for teens has poured into her writing as well.  She is the author of the young adult urban fantasy, Shadow Eyes, through Musa Publishing, which she wrote in order to give teens an intriguing and provocative book series that promotes moral messages.  She lives with her husband, Clayton, in Yukon, Oklahoma, where they often serve their community as foster parents.

Check out Dusty’s blog at http://dustycrabtree.wordpress.com/
Find her on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dusty.crabtree.1
Follow her on twitter at https://twitter.com/dustycrabtree
Buy Shadow Eyes at http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=176 (also available at all major online bookstores)






*The author provided me with a copy of Shadow Eyes in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I received no compensation for my review.

And now for the Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Friday, March 8, 2013

Book Review: Strands of Bronze and Gold, by Jane Nickerson

Strands of Bronze and Gold, by Jane Nickerson
The Bluebeard fairy tale retold. . . .

When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.

Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.

Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale.


Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (March 12, 2013)

Praise:
SLJ Teen, February 5, 2013:
"
Jane Nickerson adroitly weaves the threads of the 'Bluebeard' story into Strands of Bronze and Gold to create a spellbinding tapestry of mystery, romance, and suspense...A grippingly gothic tale, with a lavishly described and lushly atmospheric setting and likable heroine."  


About the Author:
For many years, JANE NICKERSON and her family lived in a big old house in Aberdeen, Mississippi, where she worked as the children's librarian at the local public library. She has always loved the South, "the olden days," gothic tales, houses, kids, writing, and interesting villains. She and her husband now make their home in Ontario, Canada. 

Website
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My Thoughts:
If I was given only one word to describe this book, this would be it: captivating.  From the moment I picked this book up, I could not set it down.  I dragged it around with me for an entire day, reading while I cooked dinner and pretended to vacuum.  I must admit that I didn't get much sleep in that 24 hours because I was glued to the page.  

I loved this book!  It was beautiful and mysterious and dark and thrilling all at the same time.  Bernard is so seductive and so creepy.  He was fantastic.  I found Sophia to be a very believable teenage girl.  She chose to ignore the signs and feelings she had as she continued to make excuses for Bernard's wacky behavior.

I'm giving this book 4 stars.  The only drawback for me was that some of the descriptions got a little too long. Seriously though, if you are looking for a good young adult novel, I would recommend this!

Parents: Some innuendo throughout the book, a bit of kissing, and one instance of attempted rape.  It is pretty dark, but not over the top.

The Cover: Love this cover!  It caught my eye immediately and I was instantly intrigued.  I have to admit that I am a sucker for a pretty cover.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Book Review: Wish, by Michael Tolkien

Wish, by Michael Tolkien
Farmers in their alpine valley are haunted by F├Žngler, a cunning old enchanter, who ruins their lives by using an ancient wishing chain of powerful stones to spoil crops and steal children, cows and goats.

Young Berwald and his sister Clara set out, without their parents knowing, to climb into the next valley, seize the chain, free their neighbourhood of fear, and wish for whatever they want. But they soon learn that the wild world beyond their home is full of strange forces – some good, some dark and twisted – and almost every wish they make adds new complications and disagreements.

Who can rescue them from this fearful and dangerous adventure? Before Adam, their angry and worried father, can reach them, he must learn to follow seemingly useless leads, and to listen carefully to the tale that lies behind the villain’s bitterness.

A timeless fantasy tale given new life and enchantment in this vivid retelling in verse.

Age Level: 9 and up
Hardcover: 124 pages
Publisher: Thames River Press (March 1, 2013)

My Thoughts:
Wish is similar in many ways to Michael Tolkien's other book, Rainbow.  The children can speak to flowers, birds, and insects through a language they forget as they grow up.  It is also similar to Tolkien's grandfather's series, The Lord of the Rings in a few ways.  The children embark on a journey to recover a magical piece of jewelry (in this case, a necklace) that will give the owner power and wealth.  This necklace was discovered at the bottom of a pond by Faengler, a miserable, ugly old man.  It reminds me of Gollum and the Ring.

In spite of these similarities, Wish is a unique fairy tale of the heart. Through the children's journey, we learn that only true kindness and selfless desires will bring about the defeat of their enemy.  Their father eventually comes after them and learns this lesson quickly.  He must relearn the language of the forest and follow the guidance given to him by seemingly less than reliable sources.

Since I read both Rainbow and Wish, I can't help but compare the two a little bit.  They are both retellings of Florence Bone's old stories and both written in narrative verse, but I must admit that I enjoyed Wish a bit more.  There is more adventure and action, and Tolkien's writing shines through.  While Rainbow seemed to be directed at an older audience, I think Wish appeals to a broader audience.

About the Author:
Born in Birmingham in 1943, Michael Tolkien grew up in South Oxfordshire and North Yorkshire. He studied classics and English at St Andrews and Oxford. He has lived in Rutland since 1968 and was a secondary school teacher until early retirement in 1994. Since 1998 his verse has been published in two booklets and five full collections, most recently in 2012. His work has been widely and favourably reviewed. Two of his major themes are deceptive appearances and the conflict of active and contemplative approaches to life. This is also apparent in his recent narrative verse adaptations of Florence Bone’s now largely forgotten fantasy fiction for children.




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