Posted in 2012, January

Awakening by Karice Bolton Interview/giveaway & Graceling and Fire of The Seven Kingdoms Series by Kristin Cashore



Awakening by Karice Bolton

Published on September 27th 2011 by Purely Persistent

Add it on Goodreads

Purchase a copy from: Amazon

Alone in snowy, remote Whistler village, Ana tries to build a new life since losing her parents. With a cozy condo, a sweet-faced bulldog and an evening job to leave the days free for the slopes, life slips into a great routine. If only she could shake the guilt for not remembering anything about her parents and banish the night terrors that haunt her every dream. On a whim, Ana goes out with Athen, a guy she’s just met in the Grizzly Pub… The only problem is that she feels like she already knows him. Within 48 hours of meeting Athen and his family, Ana’s world implodes. She falls for Athen quickly and before she knows it, a past life begins to resurface. As thrilling as the revelations appear at first, she fights against the chilling information that Athen is from the underworld. Soon she begins to struggle as her own supernatural gifts are slowly unveiled, and she realizes that the nightmares she’s been having might be premonitions and not dreams at all. It is up to Ana to decipher between fact and fiction before it is too late, and her new love, Athen, follows in her same fate – one that is lost between two worlds.
Review:
 Ana lives a lonely life. She only has one friend and no family to speak of. One night while working in the pub, a group of mysterious strangers turn her world upside down and what she finds is everything she has ever dreamed of, but at what cost?

This book really took me by surprise. I was not sure how much I would like it, but it turned out to be so much better than I had imagined!

The Family

I loved the fact that Ana had finally gotten the family that she deserved. I really enjoyed the times when all four of them were together, but, I would have to say that my favorite would be Arie. She kind of reminded me of Alice from Twilight. The sweet but knowledgable sister type that is everybody’s friend. Except the bad guy.

The Romance

The romance was fairly quick to start and then it seemed to come to an abrupt halt. Ana and Athen had met quickly and were in each others arms fairly quickly, but, the romance basically went no further until almost the end of the book. I LOVED IT!!! The anticipation build up was perfect and actually kept me not wanting to put the book down.

Matilda

Okay, so I will admit it. Matilda was the only reason that I was interested in reading this book. Well, the paranormal aspect was good too..LOL I love bulldogs and as many of you know, I have recently lost mine, so, when I saw this book. I just had to read it. Matilda only plays a small role in the story, but it was enough for me to get my bulldog fix.

The Storyline

I enjoy anything paranormal and a story about angels and demons is perfect. The suspense that is given through Ana’s dreams really kept me thrown off at wondering what is real and what was simply just a dream. I thought it was an interesting take on angels with Ana’s “reawakening” into herself and her new family explaining her old life to her. I very much enjoyed Ana’s flashbacks/memories.

Final thoughts

I really enjoyed this book much more than I had expected. I am looking forward to reading the next one in the trilogy, Legions. The ending had me in tears and I am patiently waiting to see what happens next. Keep on the lookout for the review coming soon!

“Why didn’t you ask me for my number when I was serving you?” I asked trying to sound incensed but failing miserably.

“You weren’t exactly what I would call coherent during our time together earlier if you remember. I really didn’t want to see what would happen if I did.”

Author Interview:

A big welcome to Karice Bolton. Karice is one of the friendliest authors that I have come in contact with. Usually though, our conversations always tend to lean toward the bulldogs:) I would like to thank Karice for the interview and for hosting the giveaway!

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

 I always loved writing.  I remember in grade school writing stories and thinking how fun it was at the time.  I went to college and loved writing the papers – no matter the topic or deadline.  I ate up the feedback!!  Everyone thought I was odd for liking all that stuff!  Now since I work in the corporate world during the day doing somewhat analytical things (complete opposite of me or my degree) I can’t wait for my writing time in the evening and on weekends to get back to what is important to me.  My true passion is writing so whenever I have a free evening and weekend I write!  I am so fortunate to have such a supportive husband because there are many times I put my headphones on and just go for it and he keeps himself amused around the house.   One day it finally hit me that the best way to be a writer was to write!

 See, if I wasn’t a writer at heart I would have just answered “Always” to the question above.  Oh brother, I talk a lot!

 Why did you pick the paranormal genre?

 It wasn’t a conscious decision at first.  My short stories are all over the map.  I just love writing.  However, when I first decided to write in the paranormal genre what drew me in was the idea of little things that are unexplained and left to our imagination to unwrap and find the causal that may or may not be in this world.  It is really fun to take an odd incident that occurs in the here and now and spin it in such a manner that adds a paranormal twist.  It also adds a nice layer to play with when dealing with emotions of love, anger, and happiness.  It’s also the perfect umbrella to create when I want to research historical events, mythological aspects, and anything else under the sun while giving it a fun spin.  Everything can get elevated to that next step without blinking an eye.  I also love the readers who are into paranormal.  Their imaginations are great and they are really a fun group of people to get to know!  That is something I have loved the most so far – answering emails from readers and working with the awesome book bloggers!

 Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

 In 5 years, I would like to have writing as my full-time career.  A girl can wish!!!  I have another series planned and a few spinoffs in the works, which I am totally psyched for!

If your book was turned into a movie, whom would you cast as the main character, if it was your choice?

That’s a fun question and really tough!!  I would be so thrilled at the concept that I would definitely need the more centered casting director to reign me in.  However, I would say Nina Dolbrev would be great to play Ana.  She could do the pre-and post stuff that Ana goes through really well…  At least that’s my answer for now…  Or Olivia Thirlby or Emily Browning that would be pretty awesome!

When you are not writing, what do you enjoy doing?

 My husband and I have two English Bulldogs so we love playing with them!  I love to read, so I fit that in as much as I can.  In fact, I just finished Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, which was totally great and not what I expected!  In the winter, we go skiing as much as possible and I do lots of baking.  In the summer I love to garden and also do a ton of canning so we eat lots of homemade items like marinara all winter.  I also love to cook and try new recipes.   I have also begun piano lessons again, which is really fun!

 What is next on your agenda? Any new books on the horizon??

Next on my agenda is to finish up Cataclysm, which is the third book in The Watchers trilogy.  I also have a spinoff planned, but that will be taking a backseat so everyone can have time to absorb the first three books.

I also have another series that I have started and am so excited about!!!  It is urban fantasy/paranormal romance as well, but it doesn’t involve purely angels or demons this time…  It’s been a great switch up.  Details to come… Haha!

 Speed Round:

 

  1. Favorite Book?  Aaaah!!!  Too many are flooding my head!  How about The Art of Racing in the Rain?!?!  It might change by next week though…  Really enjoyed Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion that could creep in there this week too…
  2. Favorite Author?  I have no favorites!!  Love so many…  Erik Larsen’s work is always fascinating and a little creepy and it’s real.
  3. Favorite genre to read?  Mystery/Suspense or Psychological thrillers at the moment… Although I really liked that zombie one I just finished.
  4. Favorite genre to write?  Paranormal has been so much fun to write, so I would definitely say it’s my fav for now.
  5. Favorite place to read?  By the fire in our family room plopped on our oversized couch, with my English Bulldog perched behind me like a cat.

 Giveaway:

1. Winner will receive a paperback copy of Awakening

2. INTERNATIONAL!!!!

3. Winner will be chosen by Random.org on January 13, 2012.

4. MUST be a follower!

5. Please fill out the form:

[googleapps domain=”docs” dir=”spreadsheet/embeddedform” query=”formkey=dFhGaUlIUEo2c1RKeWtnVW5ScDdfN1E6MQ” width=”760″ height=”628″ /]

****************************************************************************************

Published October 1st 2008 by Harcourt Children’s Books

Add it to Goodreads

Purchase a copy from Amazon|Barnes & Noble

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.     When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone     With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.

Review

Usually I save 5 stars for the books that really draw me in. That pull at me and refuse to let go. This was such a book. The world of Graceling is set as a mythical place with 7 kingdoms, where some people are born graced. To be graced means that you are born with the a super ability, whether it is an extraordinary talent for shooting arrows, singing, sewing, etc.  Katsa, our graced heroine, is the quintessential strong heroine.  Her grace gives her strength in fighting.  She can take down any man in the kingdom, which makes her a perfect weapon, often used by the king for his own personal bullying.  But still she is kind and finds a way to use her grace to help others in need.

The story starts with an adventure right out the gate, and right away our dear Katsa meets our mysterious Prince Po. I have to say I fell in love right away.  She is so charming, but in such a genuine way, that you can’t help rooting for her.  And Po is so strong yet gentle, that you can’t help falling in love with him.  The story has character growth for both Katsa and Po, changing them as the story unveils, and emotionally absorbing you in their plight.

My only gripe is the authors anti-marriage, anti-baby view. I enjoyed how it played out in the story. The girl knows what she wants, and no one will take that from her, but it was a bit much at times.  Regardless, I fell in love with Graceling.  It’s one of my favorite books of 2011 (I realize it was published in 2008, but I just read it now, so that counts, right?)

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Published September 24th 2009 by Gollancz

Add to Goodreads

Purchase a copy from Amazon

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she has the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City. The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there’s more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom. If only she weren’t afraid of becoming the monster her father was.

Review

 Fire is the “prequel” to Graceling. It’s a whole new set of characters and a whole new plot filled with its own twists. While gracelings live to the west of the mountain range, on this side of the mountains, its all about monsters. Monsters come in every species and are characterized by their extreme color and beauty, and their ability to read and control minds. Our heroine, Fire, is the last of the human monsters.

 I have to admit, it took me a while to get into this book. I read the first 100-150 pages thinking that my rating wasn’t going to go over 3 stars. But once the book picked up, it really reeled me in. I loved the different relationships that the characters had with each other. They all felt very real. Very human. I found this book to be deeper than Graceling. Besides tackling the issues of politics, relationships, friendships, family, and consequences of life’s choices, it played on the good and evil that each person carries inside them. I’m reading this as I type it thinking “That doesn’t sound like an interesting book”, but trust me, it is. And I love the way everything was tied together in the end. I do wish, however, that the book was a little more romantic. While there was some romance, and it was wonderful once it developed, I was left wishing I had more my-heart-is-a-flutter moments.

 I think that I am now a great admirer of Kristin Cashore. She’s able to write heroines that are so very strong, both physically and emotionally. I loved that while Graceling was more of a physical book, where the heroine herself was a fighter, Fire is a book about mainly mental battles. The two books play off of each other so perfectly. I can’t wait for Bitterblue to come out.

Final Note

I love this series (in case you couldn’t tell).  Bitterblue, the 3rd installment of this wonderful trilogy is out May 1st 2012.  Its supposed to tie together the first 2 novels, being set 8 years after Graceling finished.  I can’t wait to meet up with all of my favorite characters again.

Advertisements

Author:

Heather is a happily married wife & Mom of 2 daughters and three four legged kids. She began her addiction to reading with the Twilight Saga. Mainly she reads anything in the young adult genre and is always on the lookout for the newest bestseller!

3 thoughts on “Awakening by Karice Bolton Interview/giveaway & Graceling and Fire of The Seven Kingdoms Series by Kristin Cashore

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s