Relationships in Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest

Relationships in Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest

So this is a guest post, but not…

Hi! You know me. I’m Keira Gillett and I own and run Love Romance Passion. Today, I’m talking about something you might have noticed if you’ve visited the site recently or been hanging out on Facebook and Twitter. My book! That’s right, I took the plunge and wrote a story. Queue *oooo* and *ahhh* sounds. :)

Oooo

Ahhh

Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest is about an American girl who moves to Norway and meets a troll, who kidnaps her friend… a friend she must rescue. See the book trailer below:

My book is middle grade/young adult and does not include the typical romantic relationships we love to read and discuss on this blog, but my book does include some very special relationships. These are the familial bonds between parents and their kids.

So Zaria is adopted, an only child, has lovely parents, and is well adjusted. Queue the *horror.*

What will you write about without all that teen drama?!?!?

Wait! Adopted?

Adoptive parents can be absolutely wonderful people. They’re not all mean. Just like step-parents aren’t all nasty. Or aunts, uncles, grandparents, and other guardians… take your pick. Fictional kids can be like real kids and come from happy homes and not from neglected environments (an oft-used literary tool.) I wanted my heroine to experience the same happy home environment.

As for the relationships, I modeled Merry Fierce and Zaria Fierce’s relationship off of my relationship with my mom. Mom Gillett is a cool mom if I do say so myself. If I wanted to play hooky growing up, she’d play hooky with me. If I wanted to be checked out for a lunch date, we’d do that and head over to the fancy establishment by the school (Taco Bell.) If I wanted to desperately attend a midnight premiere for Harry Potter while on a family road trip she somehow made it work. In high school, she let my best friend stay with us while her dad was out of the country. We traveled the world together and are the best of friends. So I poured that loving relationship into Merry’s and Zaria’s relationship.

And I don’t stop there.

  • Colonel Fierce is hard-working, attentive, loving, strict, and obliging.
  • Emma Johansen (Christoffer’s mum) is kind, concerned, intelligent, and loving.
  • Mr Mickelsen (Aleks’ dad) is attentive, supportive, and kind.
  • Aleks has a good relationship with his gran.
  • Mrs Storstrand (Filip’s mom) is strict, fair, and loving.

The adults are all good people and yet the kids still get to go on adventures all over Norway to reach Gloomwood Forest. See parents don’t ruin all the fun! So how do the kids do it? Aha! Good question. Discover the answer in Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest.

What other books have you read where the adults are good people and have good relationships with their kids or wards?

Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood ForestBook Blurb: On her birthday, Zaria Fierce finds her usual path to school blocked by an ugly river-troll. At first she’s surprised and curious, but then Olaf threatens to eat her, which is an act Zaria could not in good conscience consent to, so Zaria counteroffers. A deal is struck and she goes to school, but Zaria is about to learn the hard way that one does not trick a river-troll and expect to win.

Early Reviews:

“With kids interested in “Frozen,” with Anna and Elsa, this would be a natural progression.” – Judi Oswald, Reference Librarian

Excerpt:

Geirr stooped to pick up some decent-sized sticks, and Zaria bent to grab a few too. They talked amicably and walked, stretching their legs, until they were too burdened by their loads to keep going.

“My arms are going to collapse,” Zaria huffed. Her breath fogged around her face, covering and then revealing a well-pinked nose and cheeks. “Let’s head back to camp.”

“Sounds good to me,” Geirr said and turned around to do just that. Zaria followed and collided into him, dropping her load of kindling all over the ground.

“Hey!” she exclaimed, as she went to gather them. “Why did you stop?”

“I don’t think we’re going to find camp,” Geirr said, worrying his lip. He juggled his armful of wood and pointed haphazardly forward. “It’s like pea soup.”

Zaria looked up from playing fifty-two pickup and saw what worried Geirr. In front of them was a wall of fog, thick, viscous, and impossible to see through. She gulped and carefully set down the pile she’d been working to gather again. Was it her imagination or did the fog seem to be breathing? It crept closer in stages. Not fast enough that she saw it while looking directly at it, but if she looked away and back, it most definitely moved.

“Uh, Geirr,” Zaria said, slowly gaining her feet. “I think we should move and fast.”

Geirr looked at her puzzled. “I don’t think fast is an option here. Now if you pick up your stack and stick near me maybe we can Marco Polo our way back to the others.”

“Geirr,” Zaria hissed, her voice ratcheting higher. “The fog is moving.” He didn’t look impressed. The breathing sounds from within the fog grew louder, distressing Zaria. “No seriously, it’s moving like it’s alive.”

Geirr looked back again and stared hard, trying to penetrate the fog with his gaze alone. Zaria started to ease away, firewood forgotten.

“Come on, Geirr, we have to move. Can’t you hear the breathing?”

“That isn’t you?” he asked, alarmed.

“No!” Zaria shouted. “Run!”

Listen to an Audio Book sample:

Available in E-book | Print | Audio Book formats.

See if you’re eligible to get a free copy of the audio book here.

Keira Gillett author pictureAuthor Bio: Keira Gillett is a technical publications librarian, book blogger, world traveler, artist, and now author. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing and Painting. From an early age her mother instilled a love of the written word, as such she has always been a big reader. Her first book, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, is about a young girl who must complete a quest to save her friend from a nasty river-troll.

Website: http://keiragillett.com

Social Media: Twitter (keiragillett), Facebook (zariafiercetrilogy), Pinterest (keiragillett)

Available in E-book | Print | Audio Book formats.

See if you’re eligible to get a free copy of the audio book here.

Get into Bed with Leesa Bow (Author Interview)

41.CharmingtheOutback_coverKeira: In the past couple of months, I’ve heard a lot about “new adult” romances. How do they differ from young adult romances or contemporary romances? Is there blending of genres?

Leesa Bow: New Adult is where the characters are usually 18-25 years of age. We know this can be a sensitive time with many changes happening in the individual’s life, and so the struggle of becoming an adult is generally central to the New Adult story.

I consider Young Adult characters to be 17 years and under so that is a major difference. In New Adult the characters are often experiencing monumental firsts: first time leaving home, first time at college, first job, and first real love. Falling in love at this age is intense and emotional, so the romance is considered spicier than Young Adult.

You could say New Adult bridges the gap between Young Adult and contemporary romance.

Keira : Tell us about your new release Charming the Outback? How is this different to other Australian rural romances?

Leesa: Charming the Outback is the second book in my Player series and is Maddy’s story. We are first introduced to Maddy in my first book, Winning the Player, as Aubree’s BF and Hunter’s cousin. Maddy is feisty and refuses to settle down, until she meets Luke. We learn Luke returns to his family’s station to work on the sheep property. Six months later Maddy accepts a teaching position at a nearby country town hoping for a second chance at love.

Charming the Outback combines rural romance with New Adult. It has the flavor of rural romance along with the outback scenery while adding the emotional turmoil of younger characters stumbling to find true love.

Keira: Your novel Winning the Player focuses on football. Do you love football yourself? What drew you to write romances around sports?

Leesa: The football I describe in Winning the Player is Australian Rules Football, which differs to soccer, rugby and American football. I love all forms of football but was drawn to Aussie Rules as my husband played for many years.

Keira: Are there any particular challenges or pluses to writing new adult or sport romances?

Leesa: I find getting game facts, terminology or catch phrases correct to be challenging. Thankfully I have a number of sporting male friends I can quiz.

Writing New Adult can be emotionally draining since the characters themselves are at an emotional age experiencing extreme highs and lows. It’s a great ride and a journey I love.

Keira: What are you working on next?

Leesa: Currently I am working on another sport series (cricket). Jardine is book 1 and will be released December 15 in a box set with seven other New Adult authors. During November I intend to write Caught Out, book 2 in the series.

Over Christmas I will complete Embracing the Player, book 3 in my Player series.

Early 2015 I hope to publish my NA fantasy series, Ulara. This book is close to my heart as I first wrote the story from an oncology ward while my daughter was receiving chemotherapy.

My daughter is now in remission and doing well.

ABOUT LEESA

Website: www.leesabow.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Leesabowromance

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeesaBow

Book CoverWINNING THE PLAYER

When injury destroyed her dream of playing college basketball, Aubree Taylor fled overseas. Now she’s finally home again and ready to move on with her life. Until she runs into Hunter Stone on her first night out, the only guy who’s ever meant anything to her – and the last person she wants to see.

Since she ran out on him two years ago, Hunter hasn’t been able to get Aubree off his mind. The sexy football star has had girls all over him for years, but Aubree is the only one to have ever seen behind the cocky persona he puts on for the crowd.

Despite her attempts to keep her distance, Aubree is unable to resist the strong attraction between them and it isn’t long before they fall into a passionate relationship. She has never been afraid of a challenge, but Hunter’s arrogance and inablity to trust are testing her to her limits. Aubree must decide whether to follow her heart and lower her guard…or risk losing the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

Buy: Winning the Player

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CHARMING THE OUTBACK

When jaded city girl Maddy McIntyre packs up and leaves Adelaide for a new job in the country, it’s not only a chance at a fresh start. Six months ago, the first guy she’d ever loved shattered her heart before moving home to Broken Hill. Deep down inside, Maddy is hoping that living in the same town will give her an opportunity to prove to Luke that she’s one temptation he can’t resist.

But when she arrives in Broken Hill, Luke White is not the same guy she knew in the city. And it soon seems very clear that he doesn’t want her there. Although Maddy settles in quickly, excelling at work and partying with her new friends, she can’t understand why Luke is remaining so distant. Particularly when all her instincts are telling her that they’re meant to be together – and that he feels the same burning attraction.

As Maddy learns more about Luke’s family and background, she begins to understand that his mixed messages are caused by balancing what’s expected of him with what he really wants. Maddy gave Luke her heart long ago and, despite their differences, she knows she’ll only ever be happy with her hot country boy. But how can she convince him that she’s the risk he needs to take?

Buy: Charming the Outback

Author Sherry Soule’s Dream Cast

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Today bestselling author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! She will be publishing a brand new Upper YA / Sci-Fi romance series: the “Starlight Saga” with scorching-hot character chemistry, exciting suspense, and epic romance on June 26, 2014.

To help promote this interstellar love story, “LOST IN STARLIGHT,” Sherry is doing this guest post to share the news with fellow booklovers.

So without further ado here are Sherry’s top actor picks…

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For my tough heroine, Sloane Masterson, I think this lovely and brilliant actress:  Lucy Hale (just imagine her with purple hair!) would be perfect.

Tough talking, girl reporter, Sloane is not your typical heroine. She’s a feisty, disarming, and a fiercely independent seventeen-year-old. But she’s not flawlessly beautiful, or super thin, or extremely intelligent like some YA protagonists. Sloane has very real and relatable body issues and insecurities like most teen girls do. She favors the dark-side in clothes and music, loves to watch scary movies, and likes hanging out in graveyards. She uses her wits to cover her emotional scars, and if you can break through her tough exterior, you’ll have a fearless, loyal friend for life.

Luke_Mitchell_Tomorrow_People

For the part of the stoic and brooding, Hayden Lancaster, I think this dynamic actor would be great, Luke Mitchell.

At first glance, it seems that eighteen-year-old Haydenhas a detached, unemotional exterior, but what lies beneath is a kindhearted individual that will go out of their way to help another. Although he’s self-assured, he does have a tendency to emotionally distance himself from those around him, and this can make Hayden an unpredictable and confusing companion at times.

camilla belle

For Sloane’s best friend, Viola Saks, this remarkable actress would be fantastic: Camilla Belle.

Outgoing and feisty, Viola’sa fun-loving spiritgirl, who loves to read. Never lacking in optimism, Viola is frequently seen as a crusader for the rights of others and a defender of lost causes. Popularity makes no difference to her as long as she believes in the cause.

Ed Westwick

For Devin Greenspan, Editor of the school paper, I like this gifted actor best: Ed Westwick.

Devin has had a crush on Sloane for years and never gave the hope of one day hooking up with her. But when Hayden becomes her best friend, he feels threatened by the newcomer.

Paul-Wesley- The Vampire Diaries

Only one actor comes to mind that could portray Hayden’s younger brother, Zach Lancaster, and it is actor, Paul Wesley.

Zach and his brother grew up in a close-knit family where outside friends are discouraged. So when Hayden becomes good friends with Sloane, Zach tries to sabotage the friendship and strongly opposes the relationship.

Daniel Andrew Sharman Erica Hubbard

For Sloane’s good friends, Tanisha and Raymond, I like both of these talented actors: Erica Hubbard and Daniel Andrew Sharman:

Tanisha and Raymond are loyal friends that hang in Sloan’s crew. Tanisha dresses sort of Goth, and she’s really into Wicca and alternative bands. Raymond is more punk rock, and plays the role of the tortured musician to perfection.

Book_Cover_Lost_in_StarlightPlease mark your calendars to buy your copy of LOST IN STARLIGHT on June 26th 2014!

Read the first 3 chapters on wattpad.

VOLUME ONE: Starlight Saga

Is a star-crossed romance worth sacrificing your own life?

High school senior Sloane Masterson lives a quiet existence. She has awesome friends, gets excellent grades, and writes a column for the Haven Gazette. But her life goes from dullsville to bizarro when she witnesses mysterious loner Hayden Lancaster performing some freaky superhuman feats.

Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, and she’s not above stalking. But one look into Hayden’s remarkable eyes, and she’s crushing hard.

Even at the swoonworthy hunk’s insistence that hanging out with girls like Sloane is “off limits” by his strange family, she can’t resist him or wanting to solve the mystery.

Things get really complicated when a beautiful alien sets her sights on Hayden—and this devious girl’s not looking for a green card!

Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, über snobby extraterrestrials, and getting a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating. As their diverse worlds collide and the romantic sparks fly, Sloane must decide if Hayden’s secrets are worth risking her life to protect.

Buy: LOST IN STARLIGHT

Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:

Official Blog: http://www.sherrysoule.blogspot.com/

Twitter @SherrySoule: http://twitter.com/SherrySoule
 

What Keeps the Young Adult Genre Fresh

custom book cover Connie book 2 official ebookGuest post by Connie L. Smith, author of Essenced and Emblazed

Can I part with a little secret here? My first reading love wasn’t YA. It wasn’t even contemporary. The initial genre that snagged my interest was fantasy. Elves, orcs, dwarves… I fell hopelessly when introduced to R.A. Salvatore’s The Dark Elf Trilogy , and I haven’t been able to climb my way out yet.

YA and contemporary came later, but they’ve since given me some of my favorite books. In fact, I probably read more contemporary romance now than just about anything, and I’m a sucker for a YA story done right.

There’s something innocent about YA, even when your story involves demons and warfare, a freshness that I enjoy. When I started thinking about giving The Division Chronicles the opportunity meet paper (or an ebook), it just fit with a high school scene. When Julius shows up to tell AJ that she has a purpose and the world is in danger, it felt right to put the meeting in that kind of setting. She’s just a teenager, dealing with regular teenage things. School, extracurricular activities, friends, and absolutely no previous athletic ability. She’s figuring herself out, and throwing such change and responsibility in her lap when she’s still in that middle ground of cliques and confusion seemed right somehow.

It allowed for so much exploration of character within the pages that I don’t think would’ve been possible if I’d been writing about an army of people later in life. None of the Essenced soldiers are out of their teens yet, and you can see it surface from time to time. They’re just kids, suddenly with the world on their shoulders. Of course they’ll mess up, and you can’t expect anything different, but somehow they manage their way through the struggles and issues with strength they never even knew they had. In fact, those moments of mistake are so meaningful to me – because it highlights over and over again that they’re just teenagers doing the best they can.

I guess that’s something that draws me into the world of YA literature. These characters are learning, and they don’t have their feet on anything close to solid ground as of yet, but they still go. There’s a simplicity there that might not be present in some of the other genres. The characters can be completely unsure. The romances can just be sweet. The shortcomings can be excused more easily because of youth. The characters are learning as they go, and we can almost grade them on a curve because of it.

Of course, this genre comes with its complications as well. I’m turning 29 the week of this blog tour, so I’m not exactly part of the crowd the story is theoretically designed for. I know adults read the genre – I read it! – but to target people of a younger age group can prove a bit of a challenge. Slang, music, television… When you’re nearing 30, these sorts of things aren’t necessarily a typical part of your thought process. To be honest, most of my music was outdated when I was in high school, so now it’s proven a bit of a difficulty. But still, I think the genre – even if it exists just a little out of my cultural realm of knowledge – is worth writing.

I plan to write stories of other categories as well. Right now, I have to finish The Division Chronicles, and I have a YA Romance in need of alterations and edits, but I have fantasy and new adult also in my eventual plans. Lots of things in the future, but my first published piece of fiction will always be YA. And I’m okay with that.

Thanks for reading, and please check out my Twitter page for giveaways through the 28th! Also, book one of this trilogy (Essenced) is scheduled to be free through the blog tour! Remember it’s my birthday week? Call trying my book a gift :)

Book Blurb:

After all the preparations, Nicholai’s warriors stand on the threshold of warfare, the demons entering the realm in battalions and the world unknowingly depending on the army’s success to continue intact. But the battle is only the beginning of deadly struggles, and the soldiers will soon realize how little they know, how many things are at stake, and how much they have to lose.

Love, hate, hope, despair, anguish, joy… The journey is a gauntlet of emotion and combat, threatening their resolve as much as their lives.

Will their training and ties be enough, or will the complications and the forthcoming evil forever cripple the world’s last hope of survival?

Buy: Essenced (The Division Chronicles: Book One)


Book Blurb:

After all the preparations, Nicholai’s warriors stand on the threshold of warfare, the demons entering the realm in battalions and the world unknowingly depending on the army’s success to continue intact. But the battle is only the beginning of deadly struggles, and the soldiers will soon realize how little they know, how many things are at stake, and how much they have to lose.

Love, hate, hope, despair, anguish, joy… The journey is a gauntlet of emotion and combat, threatening their resolve as much as their lives.

Will their training and ties be enough, or will the complications and the forthcoming evil forever cripple the world’s last hope of survival?

Buy: Emblazed (The Division Chronicles: Book Two)


Excerpt:

AJ sensed him there, standing wordlessly some feet in the distance, just like she always recognized his presence when he lingered near. She absorbed the comfort and happiness he brought her – not that she’d admit that out loud – before sighing and speaking. “It’s called making a bed, Julius. It’s pretty commonplace.”

He didn’t push away from the doorframe, instead leaning further against it while he continued to observe her. “Sweetheart, nothing’s commonplace when you do it.”

Hearing the grin and affection in his voice, she smiled, peeking at him over her shoulder. “Is that a compliment or an insult?”

He gazed upward to stare at the ceiling with a thoughtful expression, then returned his attention to her, his shrug carefree. “Both.”

She smirked. “Sweet talker.”

“Odd ball.” He finally moved from the threshold, unhurriedly advancing toward her. “You know, most people make their beds in the morning. Not ten o’clock at night.”

She snorted. “Yeah. I’m gonna make my bed as soon as I roll out of it at six AM. I wouldn’t be making it now if I didn’t have to wrestle the sheet back on four times a night.” Finally setting her pillow in its position, she turned to him with an unashamed grin.

He chuckled, his adoration plain, and brushed a lock of hair from her face. “You’re one of a kind, you know that?”

“Compliment or insult?” she teased again.

“Compliment.” He smiled, cupping her cheek. “Definitely a compliment.”

“Sweet talker,” she repeated, standing on her tiptoes to press a kiss to his lips. Wrapping her arms around his neck, his circling her waist, she dove into the moment, reveling in the wonderful sensations only Julius incited. Safety. Warmth. Passion. So many more she couldn’t quite put a name to, the combination too heady and consuming to adequately decipher. It was simply a Julius effect, and its wonder had no equal in her life. Gradually breaking away, she knowingly lifted an eyebrow. “You didn’t come here just to make fun of me over my bed-making habits.”

“Maybe I came up here just to kiss you.”

“If that were the case, dear Julius, you wouldn’t have waited until I kissed you.”

Narrowing his eyes, he barely restrained his smirk at her forwardness and how well she’d grown to understand him in their time together. “You have a point.” He stepped back from her embrace, grasping her hand in his. “Come on. We have a mission.”

“A mission?” Her brow furrowed, though she made no move to retrieve her palm from his, following him in confusion as he neared the hallway. “At ten o’clock at night?”

“I believe we already covered the time in this conversation, AJ.” He made a clucking noise with his tongue, shaking his head in mock disappointment. “You really need to keep up with matters a bit more.”

She glared at the back of his head, lips thinning despite her vexing boyfriend’s inability to see her from his location. Realizing the futility of her frustrated efforts, she clenched the fingers he clutched, smiling in accomplishment at his grunt of discomfort. “Yeah, we covered it, but in household chore way. Not in a mission way. What could we possibly have to do this late at night?”

He sent her an amused glance – one she deemed condescending, particularly after the physical hint of her annoyance  – while tugging her through the doorway. “You do realize it isn’t ten o’clock everywhere, right?”

“Of course I realize that! I’m not a moron!”

“I never said you were…”

She growled, steeling her feet against the floor and prying her hand from his. “You didn’t have to. Your little grin said it all for you.”

His stare revealed sincere bewilderment – maybe a speck of frustration as well – and his arm dropped to his side. “So let me get this straight. You’re angry at me… because I smiled at you?”

Her eyes widened in fury, one finger raising to point at his chest while her left fist braced against her hip. “Don’t try to turn this around like I’m crazy!”

He scrunched his forehead, gaze traveling up and down her form while he held his hands out, as if silently offering his evidence.

She groaned, unhappy, turning away from him to rein in her irritation. For several seconds, she simply scanned her room, livid exhale after livid exhale falling from her lips, but the attempts did little to calm her turmoil, Julius actually flinching when her focus again landed on him. “It’s the grin you used. It’s the same one that was on your face when you drove into New Mexico, and I was surprised the facility was stationed here. Like I’m the dumbest person in the world and your number one source of entertainment.”

Instantly, his expression softened. “You can’t possibly think that I think that way?”

She just glared at him.

“Look, I’m not gonna lie.” He approached her, smiling tenderly. “You do amuse me, but not because I think you’re stupid. You’re… animated. And quirky. But not stupid. And I get it’s late, and no matter what time zone we’re entering, it’s ten o’clock here and we’re handing over sleeping hours, but Nicholai insists we need to go now.”

She kept pinched eyes on him, but her posture loosened a bit.

He laughed, reaching for her hand once more. “See? Animated. I can pretty much watch the wheels in your head turn.”

“Does that make you my mental stalker, too?”

Processing the playful edge of her words, he kissed her knuckles and led her into the hall. “Trust me, sweetheart. I have no desire to wander through your mind. I can’t imagine all the weird things I’d encounter.”

She tilted her head to the side, smiling. “Compliment or insult?”

Smirking over his shoulder, he caught her eyes with his. “Insult.”

Buy: Essenced (The Division Chronicles: Book One), Emblazed (The Division Chronicles: Book Two)

Why I Love the YA Genre

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Guest post by Sherry Soule, author of Beautifully Broken (Spellbound Series)

Today Sherry has some exciting news to share with all of us! All the previously published books in the Spellbound series have been rewritten and republished with more epic romance, sizzling character chemistry, and thrilling new scenes. The new versions also include exclusive bonus material and brand new scenes. Even additional scenes from charming, bad-boy, Trent Donovan’s point-of-view! To help promote the new editions, she is doing this awesome book promo to share the update with fellow booklovers.

Hi everybody, I’m author, Sherry Soule—waving from the SF Bay Area. Thanks for letting me visit today, it’s an honor to be a guest here and meet other fellow booklovers.

Since I was a child, I recognized that books were a way to travel to other places and have remarkable adventures. Even though I am older (you’re NEVER too old to read young adult novels, IMHO) than the average teen reader, I’ve always loved reading Young Adult literature.

I think I love reading YA Lit because I think that most novels in this genre are fast-paced and thrilling, and the stories are written in a style that is engrossing, with story-driven or character-driven plotlines. I also love that there are so many books created into a series nowadays, so that you can continue to have additional adventures with your favorite characters.

Could my love of YA Lit be simply because I’m still stuck at age sixteen, just a teenager-at-heart in disguise?

Could be. And like many of you, I’ve read hundreds of YA books and I can actually say that I enjoyed them all. Some I genuinely loved and these books became like good friends that I didn’t want to part with, so they adorn my bookshelves and wait patiently to be reread again one day. Other novels were simply read and then disregarded with a contented smile.

And you know what? I am NEVER embarrassed to buy YA novels (although I buy most of my books online through Amazon) in bookstores, or carry them around with me. I love the genre and always have and always will.

Of course, I realize that we all have diverse tastes in literature. Most of you will have varied genres that you love to read, and probably some of my favorite books are simply your forgotten reads. That is what makes the world of YA Lit, and reading as a whole, so dang fascinating. Each one of us will enjoy different types of characters, plots, and of course, a writer’s voice, the way only they can tell a story.

Personally, I like to read and write darker, edgier young adult novels. As you can probably tell if you’d read my books, I tend to write dark, tormented heroines, too. I love the angst of a female teen protagonist trying to come to terms with some dark secret or horrific event in her past, and usually, she ends up facing this fear, vulnerability, or threat, with a handsome, strong hottie by her side. Oh!—and I love to create an evil villain that is unquestionably devious, but complex. My antiheroes always possess some redeeming features, and because of these factors, I think it makes them much more interesting villains.

My heroines are typically intelligent, snarky, and full of fight. Like my girl, Shiloh Ravenwolf in the Spellbound series. You gotta admire Shiloh’s spunk and determination. When I grow up, I wanna just like her. Or a vampire. Or a ninja. Hmmm, not sure which…

Anyhoo, thank you so for letting me chat about my love of young adult literature. I hope you enjoyed this post. Now go feed your mind and read a book! Preferably mine. :-D

Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:

Official website: http://www.sherrysoule.blogspot.com

Spellbound Series Universe blog: http://thespellboundseries.blogspot.com

Twitter @WriterSherry: http://twitter.com/writersherry

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11634793-beautifully-broken

beautifully broken

Deadly Witchcraft. Ghostly Threats. Doomed Romance.

They say every town has its secrets, but that doesn’t even begin to describe Fallen Oaks. The townsfolk are a superstitious lot and the mystical disappearance of a local teen has everyone murmuring about a centuries old witch’s curse.

When sixteen-year-old Shiloh Trudell takes a summer job at Craven Manor, she discovers a ghost with an agenda. That’s where she meets the new town hottie, Trent Donovan, and immediately becomes enchanted by his charms.

Finally, Shiloh’s met someone who is supercute and totally into her, but Trent is immersed in the cunning deception that surrounds the mysterious Craven Manor. So much so that he may lose sight of what is truly important to him. And she can’t decide whether she wants to shake him or kiss him. Yet neither one of them can deny the immediate, passionate connection growing between them.

But underlying everything is the fear that Trent may be the next victim on a supernatural hit list, and Shiloh is the only person with the power to save him…

With cryptic messages from a pesky wraith, Shiloh will finally begin to understand the mysterious significance of the strange mark branded on her wrist and decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to protect the other teenagers in town.

Unfortunately, for Shiloh, not all ghosts want help crossing over. Some want vengeance.

Buy: Beautifully Broken

Review: The Iron Queen (Daughters of Zeus, Book 3) by Kaitlin Bevis

iron queenSummary: Kidnapped by her father, Persephone is not looking forward to be reunited with dear old daddy. The guy has several screws loose and wants one thing – to live forever in the peak of his power. And if not his, then to steal another’s powers and realms. Persephone is the key to do this as she’s a link between the mortal realm and the Underworld. If he can get her to swear loyalty to him, Zeus will get everything he wants by consuming her powers.

Hades and Demeter can’t let this happen. The remaining gods and goddesses must choose sides. Stick with Zeus or rebel? Hades strongly suggests they choose his side because with or without them he will tear the world apart to bring Persephone back home to him… the one place she truly belongs.

Review: The tension in this book is high right from the beginning. Persephone is captured by her evil father Zeus and held in his sky castle. She is completely isolated from the others. The angst (always one of my favorite parts of any romance) was strongly present. Be prepared for your heartstrings to be tugged. You will swoon over Hades. I did.

My least favorite part of this story was the jump into Aphrodite’s head (cue a clear setup for future books). It wasn’t needed in a story that previously focused only on Hades and Persephone. I would have preferred more from Hades and Persephone and if another character was needed then, Zeus, as he’s the bad guy.

I love the fact that Zeus is not the traditional good guy. It’s a great twist which I have appreciated throughout the whole series. Overall great story. Great series. Great romance. Who doesn’t love Persephone and Hades? I would totally read more about these two in a heartbeat.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Iron Queen (Daughters of Zeus)

Review: Daughter of the Earth and Sky (Daughters of Zeus, Book 2) by Kaitlin Bevis

daughter of earth and skySummary: You have to be careful as a goddess. You are held by your word – quite literally. So promises are made sparingly and avoided at all opportunities. Persephone was tricked by someone she thought a friend and now she can’t tell anyone about the betrayal.

Hades places Persephone in the care of the betrayer not knowing what was going on and thinking all the stress his dear wife shows has to do with her father, Zeus, and her new sister Aphrodite… and perhaps this human boy, Persephone is drawn too.

If Persephone can’t tell soon or beat the betrayer at his own game, there might not be anything left fighting for… surely, she’s not in an insurmountable situation? Think! There’s got to be a way before the silence wedges itself permanently between her and Hades.

Review: This novel got dark and quick. Persephone is tortured by Thanatos and his reapers by night, by day she escapes to school – but is escape or torture of another kind? This was definitely a novel that if the hero and heroine would communicate, things could be fixed and quickly. However, Persephone is bound by the rules of being a goddess and she promised not to tell Thanatos secret – too late realizing that he’d trapped her.

Zeus is a horribly creepy father figure and there are overtones of incest because of him at a part in the novel. Yuck. Luckily, Persephone is a lot stronger than anyone gives her credit, including herself. When Hades finally sees what is happening he is as fierce and as dark and as wonderful as you can imagine. His retribution is swift and merciless. Nobody messes with his wife. Nobody. Oh and there’s another epic cliffhanger. Ahh!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Daughter of the Earth and Sky (Daughters of Zeus)

Review: Persephone (Daughters of Zeus, Book 1) by Kaitlin Bevis

persephoneSummary: Persephone lives a normal life with the exception of a few abnormal things here and there. She can always explain it away – even the creepy feeling of being watched. But she can’t ignore the weirdness when a winter storm springs out of nowhere on a trip to see a rock concert with her best friend.

She tells her mom (smart!) who reveals to Persephone that she’s a goddess and says the winter storm is not a good sign. Because the storm is Boreas (the winter god) and he wants to kidnap her. Boreas almost succeeds too until Hades steps in and rescues her… oh and makes her his bride. Persephone just wants things to go back to normal… but is normal possible anymore? Was it ever? Perhaps this is all a strange dream!

Review: While there were some shaky areas of the novel, my take away from it was a world I wanted to continue reading and a couple for whom I would be rooting. The strong points include the romantic leads, the underworld and its rules, the evil villain, and the plot twists. Yikes! I didn’t see that ending coming at all. Hades is a good ruler trying to do his best to understand the souls in his care and provide a good afterlife for most of them. He’s not a particularly dark underworld king (which I would have liked – he’s the Beast in a Beauty and the Beast fairytale… he’s got to be beastly, right?)

I didn’t particularly like Persephone’s friend, Melissa, and I felt most of the side characters in the Underworld were a little shapeless (Cassandra, Helen, and Charon). Cassandra slightly less so, but she’s so bubbly and exuberant it felt like it wasn’t her true nature (forced, if you catch my drift). Thanatos was a great minor character for reasons I won’t go into, you’ll have to trust me.. Solid start to a new series and I look forward to the sequel.

Also, look at this cover! Yum! Love!

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Persephone (Daughters of Zeus)