Making History-2 Priscilla from Washington

Remember a few months ago when I posted my Making History video? Well I finally coaxed Priscilla into doing one also! YAY! Like me Priscilla has never done a video blog post before so she’s a little nervous, but she’s too awesome to do poorly on this!

Take a look at some of Priscilla’s favorite moment’s and memories from the past year. My favorite is the last story she talks about!


Do any of you have a favorite series that you cling to?

Don’t forget to check out The Archived when it comes out! I’m so excited for this book!

Review-Tempest by Julie Cross

Title: Tempest
Author: Julie Cross
Publication Date: January 17, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Source: Sara at Through the Looking Glass from Publisher for blog tour.

From Goodreads

The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

My Thoughts:

Positive:

Characters: I really love all of the characters in the novel. I felt like Cross was able to do a lot of background building and character building with the way that she has things set up. One of the best things that Cross orchestrates to build depth within the characters is by successfully using the time jumping. I loved the inclusion, through flashbacks and time jumps, of Jackson’s sister. That gave so much depth to Jackson that I’m not sure could have been created any other way. It made the reader much more sympathetic with Jackson and allowed the reader to open their hearts to him, by showing his soft side. We learn a lot about Jackson’s friends through the comparison to their 2007 selfs and that was a point that I really enjoyed. One of my favorite character journey’s was that of Jackson’s father. You will have to read the book to see what I’m talking about, but I think everyone will learn to love this guy.

Plot: Overall I really like the plot of this story. Time traveler guy gets stuck in 2007 no matter how many times he tries to get back to 2009. Is he really stuck though? Jackson always has a home base that he moves back to and somehow, someway, his home based has changed. Does that mean that 2007 is really his time now? That’s a question that is answered in Tempest and explained wonderfully.

Action: While there wasn’t a whole lot of action in the story I really enjoyed the bits where Jackson has to fight for what he believes in. There were several instances where the tension and apprehension about what was about to happen had me on the edge of my seat.

Negative:

Pace: There were huge chunks of the book where I sat there thinking “Is anything ever going to happen?” Don’t get me wrong, when things did happen it was great, but the waiting game was killing me. There were a few moments in the book where I got so excited thinking to myself “Oh my gosh! She can go amazing places with this!” only to discover that she wasn’t going there at all….she wasn’t going much of anywhere.

Overall:

I did enjoy this book, but I would suggest to anyone reading that you need to actually get through the book. Some people may just want to put it down when it gets slow, but there are several moments that will redeem the book. Just keep reading.

Review- Release by MRMerrick

I was a little apprehensive when I was asked by Hannah to review M.R. Merrick‘s ‘Release’. These books had a few strikes against them from the start. First, since it went to the Book Vortex in the first place, someone, somewhere had decided that it was a ‘Young Adult’. I have nothing against YA except the fact that I haven’t been a Young Adult since Jimmy Carter was president. Second, it’s an Independent Publisher and lately for me IA has been synonymous with not-quite-ready-for-publishing. Third, I had to read two books before I could read the book I was supposed to be reviewing and no matter how good the book, choking down twelve hundred pages of anything is bound to get tedious and boring. At this point, I usually tell her that I have a rhinoceros infestation in my garden and have to deal with that before they eat all the cabbages. But I put the book in my reader and opened to the first page and … well here is what I found.

Our Hero? Chase is an eighteen year old boy who has been exiled from his home because he has no powers. Think A Spell for Chameleon (Piers Anthony 1977) but set in New York and a lot darker. Chase and his mother are just trying to stay alive, working, paying bills, trying not to get assassinated by demons, you know, mundane everyday stuff. Throw in a narcissistic vampire, a pretty girl that tries to kill him, a set of Warlock Twins, a couple packs of shape shifters and you have the cast of characters.

The Plot? Father bad, son young and idealistic. Father trying to take over the world, son not so keen on the idea. Father tries to turn son to evil since son is becoming powerful. Son resists and gets his butt whooped for the trouble. Friends rally, lots of fighting and blood.

The City? Very Gotham like, run down, depressing. You get the idea the everything is a grimy shade of grey, I envision old newspapers constantly fluttering down deserted streets.

And that is the thing about these books. I can envision. Merrick invokes images, which is what a writer is supposed to do. I can see what Mr. Merrick is trying to say and I don’t have to keep stopping and try to figure out what he means. My absolute favorite line is in book three. ‘The crow squawked again and the other crows jumped into the air, circling the building in a murder of annoyance’.

Get it. Murder of annoyance?

Priceless.

The similarities of plot or character to other stories do not detract, they rather enhance. When Chase and Tiki were walking through Drakar it so reminded me of Jon-Tom and Chothahump in the market in Spell Singer(Allen Dean Foster, 1983). Some of the scenes invoked both Xanth and The Magic of Recluse(L.E. Modesitt Jr. 1991). These are all books that I read when I was much closer to being a YA than I am now and all books that I will never forget because they are that good.

The writing is exceptional, consistent, on point, and it is steady not only within the books, but across the three that I have read. It flows just as it should so that the words and punctuation get out of the way and allow the story to be told. Too often I find with Indie books, the stories are really good and the writing is really… not so good. I don’t usually do this but I think at this point I would like to give a shout out to Kara Malinczak who edited this book. I certainly wish that there were more Karas out there in the Indie world so that there were fewer mediocre books and far more phenomenal books. Never underestimate the power of a good editor.

The last series that I enjoyed this much was the Black Magician series by Trudi Canavan (2003). And while this isn’t high fantasy, it’s got enough magic and monsters for me to put it on my fantasy shelf next to hers and leave some room for the books to come.

Paul

*This review was written by guest blogger Paul. Review copy provided for us by MR Merrick as part of the blog tour.

Don’t forget to check out the Release blog tour Interview with Chase!

Release Blog Tour

Interview with Chase

1. So, Chase, thanks for interupting your busy schedule to answer a few questions. Where are you just comming from?

Coming, going, it’s hard to tell these days. I just finished a training session with Marcus. I’m trying to get a handle on my elements…and my temper. 



2. If you could only have one element, which would it be and why?

Water. It helps to balance out all my other emotions. It heals wounds, but it can be as devastating as any flame. And my mom was a water elemental.



3. What was the best part of being in the Circle? The worst?

Now that I know the truth about everything, asking about the best part is like asking what the best part of having your ass kicked is. Don’t get me wrong, I have some great memories from my time in the Circle, but none of them are because I was in the Circle.

I guess the one good thing was I didn’t feel alone. I knew I had the entire hunter community standing behind me. Having that kind of backing is something I miss.

The worst part was the lack of freedom. I see the Circle like a prison now. They controlled everything, including the information we received. They fed us the facts they wanted us to have and we never got the full story.



4. If you were a car, what kind would you be?

Probably a 1967 Mustang Hatchback. 



5. Desert island. One friend and two Cd’s. What and who would they be.

Rayna. I’d bring Eminem’s Not Afraid, and Rise Against’s Siren Song of the Counter Culture



6. Being involved with the underworld, maybe you can tell us. Is Elvis really dead?

I’m not at liberty to say.



7. Pepsi or Coke?

Coke



8. How do shapeshifters afford all of those shredded clothes?

Charity? I really have no idea. I’m still new to the whole “just because they’re shifters doesn’t mean you can kill them” mentality. I think once they learn control, it’s easier, but lately we never know what’s coming.



9. If you could shapeshift, what animal would you be?

I’d love to be an eagle. They’re beautiful, majestic, and I think there would be something freeing about being able to soar through the sky above the rest of the world’s problems.



10. After leaving the circle did you go to school and get your diploma?

I couldn’t. Mom and I had never lived outside the compound, and rent in Stonewall isn’t cheap. We were only given enough money to live for a month, so we had to get jobs the moment we could. Maybe if I make it out of all this, I’ll have a chance to go back.



11. Name 5 cool things about Rayna.

Rayna never says no to a friend, she’s loyal, honest, has great taste in music, and she knows how to throw a punch.



12. Name 5 annoying things about Rayna.

She’s up early every morning and insists everyone else should be up too, she doesn’t let me get away with anything, she’s stubborn, constantly uses all the hot water, and she knows how to throw a punch…



13. 5 things that Rayna would say annoys her the most about you.

She’d reciprocate and say I’m stubborn, I wear the same clothes for too long, I don’t take training seriously, I react to things impulsively and unpredictably, and I always say things that make her hit me.

Giveaway

Grande Prize Pack (3 Winners)
3x Signed paperbacks (Exiled, Shift, Release)
3x Signed 8×10 posters (Exiled, Shift, Release)
5x Bookmarks
1x Notebook (Winner’s choice of cover)
1x Magnet

Runner-up Prize Pack (5 Winners)
1x Signed paperback (Winner’s choice of Exiled, Shift, or Release) with signed poster
1x bookmark (Winner’s choice)
1x Magnet

Secondary Prizes A (10 Winners)
Release eBooks

Secondary Prize B (10 Winners)
1x bookmark (winner’s choice)
1x The Protector magnet

Winners will be chosen as follows: First 3 names drawn from Rafflecopter will get the grand prize. The following 5 names get the runner-up prize. The following 10 names win ebook copies of Release, and the final 10 names win the swag pack.

There will also be multiple opportunities to win signed paperbacks, signed posters, notebooks, swag packs, and bookmarks throughout the tour on both Twitter @MRMerrick and the Facebook Fan Page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can check out the review here

*Note: This interview was written by guest blogger Paul.