Thursday, June 25, 2015

Elora of Stone by Jaime Lee Mann

Elora of StoneElora of Stone by Jaime Lee Mann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Just as the prophecy foretold a pure heart and a wizard get married and have twins a boy and a girl. The boy is taken and the family is broken, but the girl knows he is still alive. Meanwhile, their ancestor needs both children to free her from her rocky prison and will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
This story has all of the elements of a great fantasy, fairies, an ogre, an evil witch, children with powers who first mess up then save everyone at the last minute, a bad being which is good, and a good being which is bad. Since this, the novel has all of these things why only three stars? It is because it was not executed properly. The  major complaints I have about this book are the author switches from third to first person loosening the overall flow making the middle drag. Next there are two characters with similar names Lochlan and Larque I had a hard time determining the difference between them epically during their initial conversation before the formal introductions were made. Finally, The important backstory is given at the end leaving the reader wondering where the story was supposed to be going. This leaves a lot of holes and loose ends which were not addressed in the second half despite promising such. This novel was not all bad the end is well written and almost carries the weight of the rest of the story. The emotional connection between reader and the characters is more present in this novel than the in second book in this series, mainly because there are fewer characters introduced at once so there is more time to get to know them individually. The children in this story are fantastic they hold this whole series together. Would I recommend this series? Yes to younger audiences who do not care about individual characters or underlying deep plot points and are only interested in the above-mentioned list of good fantasy elements. I still believe this series has great potential and have not given up on it yet. I did notice a marked improvement between the writing style between the first and second book and have a feeling the third one is going to really shine.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Sabaska's Tale by J.A. Campbell

Sabaska's Tale (Tales of the Travelers, #1)Sabaska's Tale by J.A. Campbell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When her grandmother tragically dies Anna takes on the responsibility of selling her horses. This should have been an easy summer task, but Anna soon finds out her Grandmother was involved in more than she let on and the bad characters who murdered her are now after Anna. In a crazy magical whirlwind of activity, she ends up running for her life with the help of her Grandmother's horse a traveler who can move between worlds. Will Anna give up and keep running or will she finish her Grandmother's quest to save an invaded world? This novel is filled with magic, betrayal love, believable characters, horses, villains and all of the other classic things which make a fantasy story wonderful. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes, fantasy, mystery, or an all around good read which leaves you satisfied while at the same time keeps you wanting more.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Into Coraira review with meet and greet with author Jaime Lee Mann

Into Coraira (Legend of Rhyme, Volume 1, Book 2)Into Coraira by Jaime Lee Mann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The simple events laid out in the plot of this book are; a bad villain escapes, the twins learn of their magical powers, there was a betrayal of trust for revenge, and a good versus evil battle. Unfortunately, they are presented with as much emotion as the above description of the book. This novel has all the elements to make it a wonderful fantasy story but it is very impersonal and the only character which shows any real emotion is the villain. The characters are described at the beginning of paragraphs instead of intertwined within the story making them into harsh facts instead of smooth introductions. The end battle itself was too quick and the important facts regarding the reasons for the fight in the first place were lost in the shuffle. Despite these negatives this was not a bad novel the characters were good especially the fairies, and the underlying plot was well thought up and even though it starts out very vague the story does pick up steam as it moves along. The execution overall was just not emotional enough for my liking. I would recommend this book only to young adults who like fantasy. Everyone else should skip this one as there is not enough emotional meat on the bones to leave you satisfied. The excerpt at the end of this book from the next book did peek my interest and if I get the chance I would like to check it out.

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I would like to welcome Jaime Lee Mann to my blog today please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?

My name is Jaime Lee Mann. I'm a freelance copywriter/ghostwriter by day, and children's author by night!

1) What genre do you like to write?
Fairy tales for the middle graders of the world! What could be better?

2) If you were to branch out from your current genre which one(s) would you like to explore?
I'm pretty comfortable in this space right now, but I think that one day there may be a book of poetry in me.

3) How long have you been writing? What prompted you to start writing?
I've been writing professionally since 2008. I have been making up stories since I was about five years old. I was prompted to start writing by the voice inside that refuses to be still.

4) What inspires you to write?
Life. I am inspired constantly, by nature, by my children, by books.

5) When a story idea pops into your head, how long does it typically take to write it (from start to finish)?
It depends on the type of story. My first two children's novels took about nine months from start to finish, but my forthcoming children's picture book took a day or two.

6) What did you find to be the most difficult part of the writing process?  Easiest? 
Most difficult part is the last revision! The easiest part is the first draft.

7) Of all your characters whom do you most relate to?
I'm not sure I can answer that without a spoiler!

8) Is there one of your characters that you did not like when you started writing about them, but found yourself liking by the end of the story?
So far, I've loved all of my characters. Even the nasty goblin. They all have a part to play in the story!

9) What is your least favorite part about writing? The Most?
I think this goes back to question six. My favorite thing about writing is coming up with the story and throwing in the twists. My least favorite thing is the third or fourth revision where I know the story has to be perfect, but I don't want to do any more work on it. I just want to move on to the next one, already. :)

10) When you are not writing or editing what do you do for relaxation?
I like playing board games with my family, and I love running and going to my exercise classes.

11) What genre of books do you like to read?
I don't have much time to read anymore, but when I do, I love chick lit that will make me laugh and forget about the troubles of the world.

12) What author(s) do you enjoy reading?  Why?
I love Marian Keyes because she's hilarious, and I love John Irving because that guy sure knows how to write a story.

13) Tell us about your books; where can people find them?
Elora of Stone is the first installment in the "Legend of Rhyme" series of middle grade fiction novels and Into Coraira is the second. They are available online at Indigo, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.