Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review: Lying Season (Experiment in Terror #4) by Karina Halle

(Click image to go to the Goodreads Page)
Title: Lying Season (Experiment in Terror #4) 
Author: Karina Halle
Started: 20/04/12
Finished: 23/04/12
Genre: Young Adult: Horror, Young Adult: Paranormal
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books
Format: Paperback

Ama­teur ghost-hunter Perry Palomino has bat­tled ghosts, fought off skin­walk­ers and skirted the fine line between life and death. But can she sur­vive bunk­ing down in Seat­tle for a week with her partner (and man she secretly loves) Dex and his perfect girl­friend, Jennifer? And can she do so while being tor­mented by a mali­cious spirit from Dex’s increas­ingly shady past? With love and life in the bal­ance, Perry must dis­cover the truth among the lies or risk los­ing every­thing she's ever cared about.

Lying Season is probably my favorite installments of the Experiment in Terror. Why? Simple, I like angst and this book had its angst, which was all caused by Perry's short stay at Dex and his girlfriend's apartment. Yep, ouch. 

For those who have no idea what I'm on about. Go and pick up the first book NOW! Cause the series is simply amazing.

Perry is staying in Settle for a few days for a work Christmas party and she's finally shown off amongst her colleagues by Dex and Jenn (Dex's girlfriend). Before that Dex and Perry have to explore and shoot their new "Experiment in Terror" episode at a Mental Institute (creepy, I know). 

Once again, I love the narration, and the constant creepiness mixed with romance/unrequited love. The only thing I hated was the abrupt end to the book! Maybe I'm just being impatient because I want to read more but seriously! I can't wait for the fifth book to come out. I absolutely need to get it! 

Karina has done it again. The series is impossible to put down and extremely easy to go through. Another five out of five stars for Karina Halle! 


Guestpost: Time Lapses by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Time Lapses by Alyssa Rose Ivy

One of the many decisions facing the writer of a series is what time 
lapse to use between books. Any amount of time can be used, from none 
at all to decades, but the decision can completely change the feel of 
the books. With the Afterglow, I knew that I needed a year between 
Beckoning and Perilous Light. The decision was mostly for Charlotte. 
She needed the opportunity to grow and to come to terms with her role 
in Energo. It was also important for Kevin to transition to life in 
college and to being away from his sister. As a reader, I am always 
excited to discover how much time has passed since leaving my favorite 
characters. Do you have any preference to whether an author picks up 
right after the last book or allows for a time gap?

Title: Beckoning Light (The Afterglow Trilogy #1) 
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy 
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance 

As Charlotte steps through the gate, she has a strong feeling that nothing will ever be the same again.

Moving back to South Carolina after three years away, Charlotte knows she's going to have to face people from her past and adjust to a new high school, but she's completely unprepared for what else waits for her in Charleston. 

Drawn through an old garden gate, Charlotte discovers a hidden world where she meets Calvin, a boy to whom she is inexplicably attracted. As Charlotte is pulled deeper into this hidden world, it's up to her older brother Kevin to rescue her. No matter how hard Kevin tries, the rescue depends upon Charlotte fighting her intense feelings for Calvin while mastering a set of abilities that she has only just discovered she possesses.

Title: Perilous Light (The Afterglow Trilogy #2) 
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy 
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance 

Would you sacrifice everything for a world you barely knew? 

It has been over a year since Charlotte and Kevin first stepped through the gate into Energo, and neither has been able to settle back into a normal life. 

Even though she tries to deny it, Charlotte is in love with Calvin and can’t push him from her mind. She distracts herself with the antics of James and her growing friendship with Liam—the one person who seems to understand her. 

Kevin is starting to adjust to his new identity as a college student and basketball player, but he can’t seem to shake his feelings for Samantha, his fear for Charlotte’s safety or the sensation that basketball is no longer enough. 

When they unexpectedly return to Energo, both Charlotte and Kevin must face their fears and step up to become the leaders they were always meant to be.

Author Bio:
Alyssa Rose Ivy lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write.

Website | Facebook | Smashwords | Amazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle) | Twitter: @alyssaroseivy


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blog Tour: The Grey Wolves Series by Quinn Loftis

Hey guys! Here's another bunch of books I'd like to share to ya'll. :D Once again its about werewolves. Yay! I'm not very particular with them recently. But they're something I like to keep myself entertained with when reading. This series sounds cool. Though the only cover amongst the entire series that I really really love is the Prince of Wolves. Its so pretty! Enjoy the excerpts!

Prince of Wolves (The Grey Wolves Book 1) 

Synopsis (Add to your Goodreads):

Jacque Pierce was just an ordinary 17 year old girl getting ready to start her senior year in high school in Coldspring, Texas. When a mysterious foreign exchange student from Romania moves in across the street, Jacque and her two best friends, Sally and Jen, don't realize the last two weeks of their summer was going to get a lot more interesting. From the moment Jacque sets eyes on Fane she feels an instant connection, a pull like a moth to a flame. Little does she know that the flame she is drawn to is actually a Canis Lupus, werewolf, and she just happens to be his mate; the other half of his soul. The problem is Fane is not the only wolf in Coldspring, Texas. Just as Fane and Jacque are getting to know each other, another wolf steps out to try and claim Jacque as his mate. Fane will now have to fight for the right to complete the mating bond, something that is his right by birth but is being denied him by a crazed Alpha. Will the love Fane has for Jacque be enough to give him the strength to defeat his enemy, will Jacque accept that she is Fane's mate and complete the bond between them?

Blood Rites (The Grey Wolves Book 2)

Synopsis (Add to your Goodreads):

With the challenge complete and the corrupt Alpha of Coldspring defeated Fane is now free to complete the mate bond with Jacque and perform the Blood Rites. Although the challenge is done, the affects are far reaching. Once it is known that Vasile, one of the strongest Alphas in the world is in America, specifically Coldspring, TX, there is one Alpha who cannot over look the significance of this. An Alpha who happens to share Jacque's DNA, but is this the one she needs to fear? 

With her mom driving and her two best friends, Jen and Sally in tow, Jacque sets off for her happily ever after. She will soon realize a plan has been put in motion that will change her course and possibly tear her from Fane's grasp forever. It will take a wolf pack, her mother's love, her two best friend's unrelenting determination, her own will to survive and the undying love of her mate to bring her home. The question remains, if she fights, if she endures, who will she be, what will be left once she is back in her mates arms?


"There is nothing that could keep me from wanting you. Nothing you could do or not do would stop me from being with you. You are mine, Jacquelyn. Mine no matter what." - Fane Lupei, Blood Rites 

“If by okay you mean are my ears ringing out of my head, is my leg all scrapped to hell, did my seat belt cut a gash in my neck, and did our stinking car just do the tango down the side of a ditch, then yes Sally, we are okay,” Jen answered. - Jennifer Adams, Blood Rites
Just One Drop (The Grey Wolves Book 3)

Synopsis (Add to your Goodreads):

Jennifer Adams, best friend to Jacque Pierce and Sally Morgan, spicy, out spoken, a little crazy and human...or so she thought. Jen has just found out that human DNA is not the only thing that resides in her veins, she happens to share that little pesky werewolf gene, although it isn't more than just a drop. Now that she and her friends are living in Romania with Fane's pack, she is also oh so conveniently stuck with the object of her affection, the fur ball Decebel. 

Drawn to each other by something they don't understand Jen finds herself frustrated by the lack of mating signs between her and said fur ball. Not only is she dealing with that not so un-frustrating problem, she now has been informed that because of that little drop of werewolf blood in her she is now required to attended a multi-pack gathering for un-mated wolves. This type of gathering hasn't taken place in over a century but with a shortage of females among the werewolf population the males are getting worried they won't ever find their true mates. 

Meanwhile Decebel struggles with the emotions he is feeling towards Jen. He tries to keep his distance but there is just something about the mouthy blonde that keeps him coming back for more of her verbal abuse that he just can't seem to get enough of...go figure.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Guestpost + Giveaway: The Importance of a Strong Protagonist by Lynn Seresin

The Importance of a Strong Protagonist by Lynn Seresin

Does a successful protagonist need to be strong? That’s a no-brainer. If the protagonist isn’t strong, the reader won’t want to read about him or her. Period. But that doesn’t tell us what makes a protagonist strong, does it? Is a strong protagonist likeable, brave, nice? Maybe, but does he or she have to be so for us to be drawn into their story? 

Let’s explore the idea of a “strong” protagonist. First and foremost, a strong protagonist is someone who grabs your interest. Often, she (I’m going to assume our protagonist is female only because most protagonists in YA novels are girls, but the same would apply to a male main character) is particularly brave or skillful (think Katniss in The Hunger Games), or she might be someone totally ordinary (think Bella in Twilight). Either way, there’s something about these two characters (and countless others) that compels us to want to hear their story. In both these instances, their particular “voice” pulls us in. Both have a way of connecting with the reader so that we feel as though we are inside their heads, hearing their thoughts, seeing the world through their eyes. I thought long and hard about how I wanted Alice, the protagonist in THIN AIR and FRIENDLY FIRE, to express herself. Since she was an ageless air spirit, I wanted her voice to reflect this. I deliberately crafted a slightly antiquated, whimsical, “fairytale” voice with which she could tell her story. If she sounded too modern (even though she is an 18-year-old girl), it would be difficult for the reader to buy into the problems she encountered trying to fit in with the human world. She needed to be a bit out of step, but not so much so that a reader couldn’t connect with her. 

This brings us to the idea of connecting with the protagonist. A strong protagonist is one that the reader can identify with. This doesn’t mean that the reader has to admire every aspect of the protagonist’s personality. It also doesn’t mean that all of the protagonist’s experiences must have a direct connection to the reader’s life. A strong main character does, however, need to touch the emotional core of the reader. Alice, the protagonist in my novels, isn’t even human at the start of the story—she’s an air spirit—but the embarrassment and anxiety she experiences whenever she fails to conform to human society’s expectations is probably something we all can relate to. Haven’t you been in a social situation where you don’t know the rules? 

Lastly, a strong protagonist must show growth, or change, as a result of the circumstances she is forced to confront. The main characters with the most impact are the ones that surprise us with their hidden resources and ability to meet every obstacle head-on. This doesn’t mean they don’t feel fear in the face of danger; far from it. Readers embrace protagonists that are able to set aside their fears and deal with the problems at hand. A truly strong protagonist doesn’t have to demonstrate strength 24/7. Rather, she must show that each of us, however ordinary, has a wellspring of fortitude from which to draw upon when confronted with our own challenges. It is in this way that strong, well-developed protagonists inspire us to reach farther and dig deeper when adversity strikes.

Book Synopsis:

Though their love remains strong, the pressure of constant danger has taken its toll on Alice and Daniel’s relationship. Paralda’s assassins continue their murder spree in New York City, targeting girls who resemble Alice in an effort to fulfill the air king’s deadly directive. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, the couple must also fiercely guard the secret of Alice’s emergent powers and true identity from everyone--including their closest friends--to protect her safety. 

Enter Ash and Terrance: two former elementals, each with their own set of reasons for transmuting to the human plane. For Ash, the material realm represents freedom and the possibility of fulfilling a forbidden wish. Terrance has only one aim in the mortal world: to win Alice’s heart. And it seems he’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goal.

You get to win ones of the wonderful necklaces above. Read on for more info:

Open for US/Canada ONLY (:( - I can't join the giveaway either)
Enter by commenting on this post and mention that you want to enter the giveaway
The winner will be selected via and announced on

Good Luck! 


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Going on Vacation! :D

Thats right! I'm going on vacation! To where? The Philippines to visit the family and relax at a resort. So I won't be blogging except for the posts I scheduled up. :D I'll be back on May 10 with more reviews and a huge In My Mailbox! 

See ya all sooon! 


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cover Reveal: Frozen Heart by Annabelle Blume

Title: Frozen Heart 
Author: Annabelle Blume 
Genre: SciFi Romance 

A decade surviving on her own. Three days with the enemy. Can love conquer all? 

Cressenda knows how to survive. With her sled dogs as her only companions, she’s spent the past ten years hiding in the snow covered wilderness from the oppressive regime of the Affinity. When a routine trip to civilization takes a turn for the worst, Cressenda is forced to take refuge with the enemy or lose her life to the frozen countryside. 

But Beckett, a Guard of the Affinity, is more than a man in uniform. His desperate need to help Cressenda escape both- the blizzard and the Affinity- makes her feelings for him all the more troubling. Will Beckett be true to his word and set Cressenda free? Will her heart let her leave after all they’ve shared? 

Author Bio: 

Annabelle is a Science Fiction and Urban Fantasy Romance author. That is, when she's not checking homework or begrudgingly cooking dinner. Her dogs bark too much and her husband thinks there are too many dogs shoved into their tiny house out in California, but she believes their life is awesome if only because they live so close to Disneyland – which she loves with the tenacity of a nine-tentacled octopus. 

She's also the author/personality of The Bombshell Mommy at, where she expounds her knowledge of being a vixen clad in sweatpants. 

Read about her adventures in writing at

Follow her on Twitter @AnnabelleBlume and like her on Facebook at

Naj's Note: I love the synopsis and it has been a wonderful experience designing the book cover too. I can't wait to read Frozen Heart!

Review: A Tale of Two Goblins (Dulcie O'Neil) by H. P. Mallory

(Click image to go to the Goodreads Page)
Title: A Tale of Two Goblins
Date Started: 10/4/12
Date Finished: 14/4/12
Author: H. P. Mallory
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Self-published
Format: Paperback

Dulcie O’Neil is a fairy working in law enforcement for the netherworld. When knight Vander approaches her with a case regarding comatose victims, she agrees to help him, imagining the most difficult part will be combatting her attraction to him.

But, what Dulcie isn’t betting on is the fact that the case becomes personal when she learns all the victims are somehow linked to her.

When her best friend falls victim to the Dreamstalker, Dulcie must do everything in her power to ensure her friend’s survival, including associating with criminals and accepting the fact that desperate times do definitely call for desperate measures.

Dulcie O'Neil is back again, and this time a Dreamstalker is after her and have been killing off everyone connected to her. Dulcie O'Neil is a very interesting character filled with pure humor and kick-assery (if thats even a word). She has her positive side, as well as her negative side, which includes the giant wall she built to shield herself from the evilness that we all call men. 

Throughout the book Dulcie is constantly turning down men who likes her, even if she likes them back. Her attitude towards men is explained somewhere in the beginning of the book. I admire her endless control, and will power. Though she kind of lost it somewhere in between. 

The plot of the story was firm and all together entertaining and fulfilling though the book was only about 173 pages. It was a blast going through so much in so little pages. H.P. Mallory knows how to write her books. The climax of the plot was fairly good, not so much of a bang but its good enough for such a small book. 

I'm thrilled to say that I loved this book and it definitely kept me reading and reading all through till the end. If I had the time, I would have finished it all in one day rather than four. I congratulate H.P. Mallory for yet another wonderful book to add to her writing collection. I hope to become as successful as her in the self-published world, when I start writing.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review: Shadow of the Witte Wieven by Debbie Peterson

Before anything, I'd just like to say how much I love the blog tour banner! Its sooo purple! 
Anyways, I'd like to share with my wonderful followers my thoughts on this book. :D Enjoy the excerpt!

(Click image to go to the Goodreads Page) 
Title: Shadow of the Witte Wieven
Date Started: 29/3/12
Date Finished: 2/4/12
Author: Debbie Peterson
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Format: eBook, Kindle, Paperback

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Despite a contract on her head, lone Drug Enforcement Agent, Aliyana Montijo must ferret out a mole and stop the assassination of top DEA officials, as so ordered by the Colombian drug lord she seeks to take down. The task is a daunting one, for there is no one she can trust. No one that is, until she encounters a most unlikely ally.

Former seventeenth century captain of the Dutch West Indies Company, Wolfaert Dircksen Van Ness, now from a parallel dimension, encounters the beautiful agent during an unearthly storm in the Bermuda triangle. Drawn to the Spanish beauty he rescues, he pledges his assistance, despite her reluctance to accept either his help or his heart.

Can Wolf bridge both space and time to claim the woman he loves?

Aliyana Montijo has been undercover for several months. Her mission is to find enough evidence to put a Colombian drug lord behind bars for life. But before that she has to become somebody else. Then something big happened to Aliyana while she was trying to escape while trying to gather evidence right from the source. Worst comes to worst, Aliyana’s gate-away motorbike disappears and she’s stuck with a small pilot plane as her only gate-away route. She flees the daunting drug lord’s lair (so-to-speak) and wonders in air trying to find a safe place to land. Instead, she crashes in the Bermuda Triangle and is left unconscious or so you think.

Beside her crash site, a ship called the Witte Wieven sees the accident and the Capitan of the ship (who is extremely hot) orders his men to save whoever is on the ship. And that's where the story begins.

At first, the whole beginning was so paranormal and urban fantasy-ish but as you get deeper into the story, it turns into a detective book (which I loved).

The setting of the book was marvelously described and thought of. Peterson really knows how to paint a picture for her readers. The same can be said for the characters. My favorites would be the men of the Witte Wieven crew. They had such a unique humor that I enjoyed thoroughly. And each one had a different backgrounds and characteristics.

Aliyana was a great character. But I felt as if there was something lacking from her. I can’t pinpoint what but there was something. She’s your strong loner, who has watched everyone around her die. She’s a little broken (I would be too), so there are hints of angst. As for Wolf, the Captain, he is definitely the kind of wise, old, sexy, and unearthly being I imagined in the beginning. I know for sure, a lot of people have probably gotten sick of the whole, tall, dark and handsome love interests. I, for one love it!

Furthermore, the plot was executed wonderfully. It was very present and strong and was leaning a lot more towards the detective-side more than the paranormal/fantasy side. I didn’t mind it much since there were elements of ghostliness towards the peak of the plot.

Overall, the book is an excellent and unique addition to the paranormal romance genre. It was a combination of excitement, mystery, supernatural events and romance (sometimes but rarely the corny type). 

A wonderful paranormal romance that will keep you on your toes with giggles and thrill. Debbie Peterson is an author to look out for. 

Aliyana nodded as she released a breath and said, “Yes, as a matter of fact they did. Hank has demanded a tour of Mercado’s empire. He said that he wants to see the way they produce cocaine from start to finish. By so doing, he could point out their faults and help them improve production. According to Ortiz, Hank had the audacity to boast about his knowledge of the latest in drug manufacturing technology as if they were a bunch of ignorant ‘campesinos.’ As you can imagine, this rankled them a bit.”

“I’m surprised they aren’t going to use this outing as an excuse to kill him,” Cornelius remarked.

Aliyana shrugged as she cast a brief glance downward. “They actually mentioned that. However, as much as Mercado would like to permanently get rid of the man, he’s going to show a bit of restraint and allow the ‘pig’ to live—for now.”

“Did they mention whether or not Mercado planned to comply with this requested tour?” asked Cornelius.

“He is going to comply, but not in the way Hank intends,” she replied. “Mercado is going to take him much farther south, to a factory and lab he no longer uses. He is sending some of his employees ahead to clean the place up and make ready for their visit. Emil wants everything to look as if the lab is in full swing.”

“So Mercado is conducting the tour personally then?” asked Wolf.

“Yes, he is. He doesn’t trust Hank. Therefore, he wants to observe his every movement, personally.”

“How long will it take them to get to this lab?”

“If it’s the one I think it is, about three, maybe four hours. Why do you ask?”

Wolf brushed a hand against his beard as he contemplated this unexpected opportunity. “How many such places could he possibly take Morris?”

“I only know of two,” she said.

“How long would it take to get to other one?”

Aliyana shook her head as she lifted a shoulder. “Oh, I don’t know—perhaps an additional half an hour or so. That’s why I think he’ll opt for the closest one.”

“Did they say when they intend to conduct this tour?”

“Day after tomorrow. Hank is supposed to arrive at dawn. If you still want to follow the man, you will get your chance then.”

“So travel time, to and from is at least six hours, maybe more,” Wolf mused aloud. “The tour itself will take some time. What would you think, another hour maybe two for him to thoroughly inspect the facilities?”

“Every bit of that and then some,” Aliyana said as she knit her brows in consternation. “Wolf, why are you asking all of these questions?”

“With Mercado out of the way, I’m thinking this might be the perfect opportunity to escort you inside the man’s office so you can raid those files on his computer.”

“But we don’t have all of the numbers to his pass code yet,” Aliyana replied. “I can’t get inside without them.”

In response to the reminder, he allowed a slight smile to emerge and for several long moments, he held her gaze without saying a word. Her confusion finally gave way to understanding. He could see it. She drew in a sharp breath as a burst of anger exploded onto her cheeks.

“You have the ability to get me inside that office anytime you want to, don’t you Captain Wolfaert Dircksen Van Ness,” she spat.

Wolf folded his arms against his chest, flashed a full-fledged grin, and bounced his brows.
“I can’t believe you would withhold that information from me,” she seethed as her eyes shot lethal daggers into his person. “And you just let me keep watching that screen for hours on end when such a need didn’t exist—”

“Oh come on, Aliyana,” Wolf laughingly protested. “You surely didn’t think I’d allow you to go in there until the safest possible moment, did you?”

His humor did nothing to improve her anger. If anything, it only served to fuel it. She shook her head then and let him have it--with both barrels blazing--in Spanish, of course. And he enjoyed every minute of the delightful display.

Author Bio:
Debbie Peterson, author of “Spirit of the Rebellion,” is about to release her second novel, “Shadow of the Witte Wieven,” through InkSpell Publishing. This paranormal romance combines a seventeenth century sea captain, a modern DEA agent, and the Bermuda Triangle to send you on an incredible adventure, filled with intrigue and romance. 

Debbie has always had a soft spot for fairy tales, the joy of falling in love, and happily ever after endings. She incorporates these aspects into all of the paranormal stories she writes. When she is not busy conjuring her latest novel, she spends time with the beloved members of her very large family. She also pursues her interests in family history and all things ancient and historic. 

You can connect with her through:
Twitter | Website | Author Website |Inkspell Publishing | Goodreads | B&N Pre-Order

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Book Feature: Tiger Lily by Kirsten Lincoln

Tiger Lily by K. Bird Lincoln


Lily wasn’t supposed to be in the woods. The Daimyo’s men were fighting nearby, but it was either snare rabbits or starve. She wasn’t supposed to talk to nobility, either, but when she found the Daimyo’s son, Ashikaga, dying in the gorseberry brush, she had to do something. Most of all, Lily was never, ever supposed to sing the forbidden Jindo songs of her long-gone mother. When the Pretender Emperor’s men return to pursue the wounded noble, and Ashikaga can’t seem to fight them off, Lily sings a forbidden song. 

The song wakes the local kami, and also Ashikaga’s interest. He has hidden secrets of his own and a burning desire to prove himself to his father. He will stop at nothing to defeat the Pretender Emperor and his men, even if it means using Lily’s forbidden songs in his fight. All Lily wants to do is take care of her sisters and brother. Can Lily defy her father, Ashikaga, and even the kami in order to save all those she loves? Or will the powerful feelings she gets when Ashikaga is near draw her into inescapable danger?

About the Author: 

Kirsten Lincoln is an ESL professional/writer/mother with over 8 years experience teaching adults and children in Japan and the United States. Her speculative short stories are published in various online and paper publications.

Come explore her writing page or her bilingual bedtime page about Japanese/English bedtime resources. Or you can check out some tasty speculative and YA book reviews at (under the name K.Bird)

She also keeps an on-again, off-again Journal at Journalscape, although most of her postings these days end up on Facebook.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Guestpost: Balancing Act: Good Guys vs. Bad Guys

“Balancing Act: Good Guys vs. Bad Guys” by Jackie Gamber, author of REDHEART and SELA, Books One and Two of the Leland Dragon Series

Whose story is it, anyway? 

More than a simple question (and a permutation of the title of a hit comedy show), it’s a tough and necessary decision a writer makes. The answer is the basis to the balancing act of protagonist versus antagonist, the good guy see to the bad guy saw. 

Because once we discover whose story it is, we then discover what this protagonist really wants. And it’s the antagonist’s job to do whatever it can to keep our protagonist from getting it. 

Since Aristotle, storytellers have been using conflict to keep readers (or listeners) interested in a tale from opening sentence to “The End”. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, or Q, as his pseudonym, has been credited with classifying conflict into the seven basics from whence all story plots emerge: Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Himself, Man vs. God, Man vs. Machine, Man vs. Society, and Man vs. Destiny. 

And like the drive-up restaurant, Sonic, with its flavor additives and fizzy beverages that add up to over 300,000 drinking options, mix up the conflict against the whole of the human race to choose from, and you get story-o-rama. 

Good guys. Bad guys. Galore. 

And don’t even get me started on stories that make the bad guy the protagonist. Or the ones where the good guy really isn’t much of a shining example. Or the ones where the bad guy really does do bad stuff, but is so empathetically written, we end up rooting for him! 

Man is complicated. So are our stories. 

But in the most basic sense of things, when we realize who’s story is being told, we settle in for that character to get a lot of stage time. Or, page time. The most satisfying ending is the one where we see his or her conflict resolved, one way or another. Sometimes the antagonist is conquered. Sometimes, not. But dealing with that conflict, in the end, is the entire reason we’ve read as far as we have, so we’d better get what we’re looking for! 

As a balance, each story needs an antagonist, that opposite force, that’s as resistant as needs be. Make him too squishy, and he yields too soon. Make him impossible to beat, and then we’ve got no real reason to keep reading. 

Keep that see-saw tipping a little one way, and then another, just a bit. Don’t flatten it out equally and leave it there. Boring! Don’t let one seat hit the ground, just yet. Waggle that thing, win a little for this side, win a little for that side, and readers will not only stay for the whole show, we’ll start it over and read it again! 

And again. And again. 

The best of these examples can exist in any genre, any plot, any language. We can have aliens, or college professors, or cheating husbands or detectives. Remember, we’ve got the whole of the human race to create characters from. 

And we’ve got the whole of the human race to read from. Mix it up a bit, and look for stories you’d never normally try. Authors you’ve never heard of. Find the conflict, find the heart of the book. 

And give yourself a chance to find someone new to root for. 


Peace was fleeting. Vorham Riddess, Venur of Esra Province, covets the crystal ore buried deep in Leland's mountains. His latest device to obtain it: land by marriage to a Leland maiden. But that's not all.

Among Dragonkind, old threats haunt Mount Gore, and shadows loom in the thoughts of the Red who restored life to land and love. A dragon hunter, scarred from countless battles, discovers he can yet suffer more wounds.

In the midst of it all, Sela Redheart is lost, driven from her home with only her old uncle to watch over her. As the dragon-born child of Kallon, the leader of Leland's Dragon Council, she is trapped in human form with no understanding of how she transformed, or how to turn back.

Wanderers seek a home, schemes begin to unfurl, and all is at risk as magic and murder, marriage and mystery strangle the heart of Esra. A struggle for power far older and deeper than anyone realizes will leave no human or dragon unaffected.

In a world where magic is born of feeling, where the love between a girl and a dragon was once transformative, what power dwells in the heart of young Sela?

About the Author: Jackie Gamber is the award-winning author of “Redheart” and “Sela”, Books One and Two of the Leland Dragon Series, now available! For more information about Jackie and her mosaic mind, visit

And meet Jackie elsewhere on the world wide web at: 


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Book Playlist: By the Sword by Sara Flower

(Click the image above for the tour schedule)

Hey guys! Today, I present to you a wonderful book by my friend Sara Flower. I have yet to read the book (I need to get my own copy) but judging from the synopsis it sure sounds exciting! I've got the book excerpt and the playlist Sara was listening to while writing the book (Well, I hope it is). ENJOY! 

Title: By the Sword (Ebook)
Author: Sara Flower
Genre: Fantasy, Young-adult
Publisher: Violet Sword Publishing
Pages: 240

Seventeen-year-old Talya's main goal is to bring down the Malinorian Empire. And Jalarn, the empire's prodigy general, is at the top of her list of enemies to kill. Not only has Jalarn murdered Talya's king, he's almost killed her. Twice.

But things don't go as Talya planned when a visiting prophet sends her on a mission to the highly feared Hunter Forest. It is there that she must gain the allegiance of the forest's inhabitants before Jalarn and his men do.

Then, memories of a haunting vision resurface when Talya comes face to face with Jalarn. She makes a rash decision that sends her down a path she never imagined she would follow.

Jalarn could sense that the sword maiden was in the forest. The feeling had intensified after he had finished his meal. He left his men to their games and walked through the dark forest in search of her. She was most likely there to sway the giants’ allegiance before he got to them – the fool. It would be the last time that she would get in his way. She would not escape him this time.

“Show me where she is, lord. I will not fail to kill her for you this time.”

Jalarn’s eyes adjusted to the dimly lit woods. He would find her. He would not sleep until her blood soaked the ground.

He came to a clearing. No sign of her. He backed up and went the other way. He found one set of human tracks. They were definitely not a giant’s. He followed them. It had to be her foot prints. No one would choose to enter that place alone unless they were crazy or forced to.

Why had she come to Hunter Forest by herself? She was asking for death being in the same forest as him. Like a hungry predator stalking his prey, Jalarn knew that he would soon kill her. And then he could finally forget about her.

The Book Playlist

ENJOY some of the videos I've found! :D Death of Me by Read is my fav!

1. Existence by August Burns Red

2. Already Over, Pt. 2 by Red

3. A New War by Jagged Doctrine
4. Figure .09 by Linkin Park

5. In the Dark by Flyleaf
6. Amazing by Andy Hunter
7. Death of Me by Red

8. Terra Firma by My Children, My Bride

Author Bio:

Sara is a twenty-something Canadian who has enjoyed writing stories since kindergarten. She likes good music & inspiring films, which fuel her creativity. She also happens to be something of a fitness nut and fashion is her passion.

Find the author:
Blog | Twitter
This tour was put together by FMB Blog Tour’s.