Featuring Farah Oomerbhoy Author Of The Last Of The Firedrakes {Guest Post}

Monday, October 26, 2015
Last of the Firedrakes' Author Guest Post

Give a warm welcome to Farah Oomerbhoy, who will be sharing with us today why book covers are so important. I have to say the cover of her book is quite stunning, isn't it a beauty? A review for The Last Firedrakes is also coming very soon!

Title:  The Last of the Firedrakes (The Avalonia Chronicles #1)
Author: Farah Oomerbhoy
Series: The Avalonia Chronicles #1
Genres: Fantasy

AMAZON|GOODREADS|BOOK DEPOSITORY

16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn't seem so bad.

Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms--including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora's arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.

With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.


Why Book Covers Are So Important


It is quite easy to say, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” But the truth is we all do it. 

One of the most important things that you can do for your book is to get the cover design right. This is after you get your book professionally edited of course. Even if the cover is spectacular, if the book is riddled with mistakes and plot holes readers won’t finish it.

The cover of your book is the face of your story, it is the best marketing tool you have. If your cover is beautifully designed it will draw in readers to try it out. Even if they have never heard of you and this is your debut novel, a reader who enjoys your genre is more likely to pick up a cover that stands out from the crowd.

A cover that is professionally designed also speaks to the quality of the work itself. When a reader sees that the author has taken so much time and care with the cover, they assume that he or she has also taken as much care, if not more with the content of the book. It tells the reader that a lot of effort has gone into the book and therefore the story will also be well presented.

Another reason covers are so important is it tells the reader what genre to expect when they pick up the book. A good cover will convey visually, key elements of the story like mood and setting, and draws in readers of the genre with familiar concepts creating some sort of emotional connection, which entices the reader to buy the book.

I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the amazingly talented Scarlett Rugers who depicted Aurora’s story perfectly in a snapshot. After many revisions and a huge amount of photo-manipulation we arrived at this wonderful cover. It can take time but when you see your marvelous cover on a bookshelf, it’s all worth it.


About The Author


For Farah Oomerbhoy, writing is a passion and reading her solace. She is a firm believer in the fantastic and magical, and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest.

Farah lives with her husband and three children in their family home in Mumbai, India. She has a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai. Her first novel is The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of the Avalonia Chronicles.

Connect with Farah, visit her Website, follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, or find her on Wattpad
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Introducing My NaNo Novel White As Snow {Beautiful Books #1}

Thursday, October 22, 2015
Introducing My NaNo Novel As White As Snow

This is my first year joining NaNo and you betcha I'm excited.

So I was poking around the web (I probably had something more important to do) and I stumbled upon this link-up hosted by paperfury and, well I do like to babble on on about future book. So I though why not bore you all to death errrr.... entertain you'all to death? (doesn't have the same ring to it.) So lets begin I hope you live have fun.

How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea? Oh I'm not completely sure where this jumbled mess started, but I suppose it all goes back to one question. "What if Snow White's
stepmother was innocent?" And yeah this idea has now been with me for a complete year now. It's been floating around my brain, and I'm now just starting to get it all down.

Why are you excited to write this novel? I've had this idea for I while, just gotta, you know spit it out.

What is your novel about, and what is the title? My novel is a fairytale retelling and it's called White As Snow.

Sum up your characters in one word each.

Silver (protagonist, and yes a metal but her name does quite have a long history) quiet

Regency  (umm yes I did name a character after a time period) talkative

Eleanor (boring name but whatevers) calm

Arabelle (nothing to say) Her Royal Sassiness (technically 3 words oops)

Which character(s) do you think will be your favorite to write? Definitely Silver, she's going to be fun to explore.

What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way? Umm does trying to live count? And if it does well then who ever is trying to kill her. But in all seriousness she's trying to deal with the fact that her stepmother has been accused of trying to murder her.

Where is your novel set? A world just like ours where everyone has magic. (I all them talents or aievers)

What is the most important relationship your character has? Probably her relation with her stepmother, it's going to go through a lot.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel? She becomes stronger and stands for what she believes in.

What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over? I want them to feel excited for Silver and as for theme not really sure.

BONUS! Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.

1.) Don't stress about plot holes to much, I swear they will come to you.
2.) Let things go, most of the ideas I had to begin with no longer are in my world.
3.) Write down ideas, I can't stress this enough.
     
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"A Unique Rendition Of A Classic" The Princess Curse {Book Review}

Monday, October 19, 2015
The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell Review

The Princess Curse is a beautiful book that combines The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Beauty and the Beast, along with Pagan and Greek mythology.

AMAZON|GOODREADS|BOOK DEPOSITORY

Title: The Princess Curse
Author: Merrie Haskell 
Series: Stand Alone
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings, Romance
Source: Library

Merrie Haskell’s middle-grade fantasy novel Princess Curse is an imaginative retelling of the fairy tales The Twelve Dancing Princesses and Beauty and the Beast.

In the fifteenth-century kingdom of Sylvania, the prince offers a fabulous reward to anyone who curses the curse that forces the princesses to spend each night dancing to the point of exhaustion. Everyone who tries disappears or falls into an enchanted sleep.

Thirteen-year-old Reveka, a smart, courageous herbalist’s apprentice, decides to attempt to break the curse despite the danger. Unravelling the mystery behind the curse leads Reveka to the Underworld, and to save the princesses, Reveka will have to risk her soul.

Princess Curse combines magic, suspense, humor, and adventure into a story perfect for fans of Gail Carson Levine.


Rating

★★★★

Favorite Quote

"Some go into the princess's' tower and never return." "What, are they eating people?" Pa raised an eyebrow.


Merrie Haskell weaves a unique and masterful tale that entraps from the first word. When it comes to most books it take a least a few pages before I really get into the story, but with The Princess Curse I was in love from the very first page. (Haha cabbage bath water)

Reveka is an intelligent herbalist's apprentice, who grew up in a nunnery, she does not plan on marrying and instead aspires to live out her days as the Herbalist of a nunnery. However to do that she will need money or in other words the dowry that is offered as a reward for the the curse that plagues the twelve princesses of Sylvania.

Many others have failed while trying to solve this puzzling riddle and have either ended up falling into a wake-less sleep or disappearing altogether, however Reveka doesn't seem to take the curse all too seriously or in her words, "It is a curse of shoes and naps” But soon enough she'll discovers that underneath the surface, the plight the princess's face is much more than what she believes.

Spoilers
The villain, oh yes, I loved the villain. He had depth and unlike most he had a real purpose, he wasn't just evil for the sake of evil. And in some ways his deeds were justified (to some degree), which I found extremely intriguing. Normally in books particularly fairytales and their retellings, the character are very black and white, the heroine is always pure good and the villain wholly evil.

Which is of course really not realistic, in life there is always more to both sides. Also on the lines of that, I really loved the the part where Reveka was considering taking the "diamonds", it shows that she's not completely perfect and has faults and moments of selfishness like any regular person

Last one, I promise, but I've been dying to discuss the romance between Reveka and Dragos (Frumos) At first I was kind of cheering for Mihas, I thought he was pretty cute. But then Frumos came into the scene, and it was kind of weird cuz honestly I could feel that Reveka was falling for him, and the age gap was a little cringy, because she's 13 and he's most likely much older. But in the end I do feel that the relationship between Dragos and Reveka ended up being pretty sweet and by the end of the book I didn't really have anymore issues so I think the romance is a yes for me.

The cover is beautiful, that I can not deny, however while The Princess Curse is certainly an eye pleaser it just doesn't fully capture the essence of Ms. Haskell words. The cover art takes largely after the new trend of using slightly cartoonish digital art. So in result this cover literally screams Middle Grade, but don't let that fool you. I expected this to be a light hearted retelling, matching the spirit of Disney, but ended up with a beautiful rendition of an old classic, with a dark strand weaved in.


I expected this to be a light hearted 
retelling, matching the spirit of Disney


I was skeptical as I started the book, I thought that it might come too close to some of the other retelling of the twelve dancing princesses I've read, however this story quickly took a different turn. The Princess Curse nods toward The Myth of Persephone, which was really unique, you rarely see mythology mixed with fairy tales if ever, and I love the end result!

At the beginning of the book we know next to nothing about the curse, and it is a little bit slow, but it quickens and Reveka's antics keep it lively. And toward the middle, the plot gets to the top of the hill and starts hurling toward the end.


Final Thoughts


To sum all that aimless chatter up I'd say that The Princess Curse was written beautifully and by all means well done. Whether, you're an old traveler of fairytale retellings, or a newby just dipping in toes, I'd recommend this book to you. I eagerly await any future YA books from Merrie Haskell.
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Waiting On Wednesday: October 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Winter by Marissa Meyer WOW

WINTER
By Marissa Meyer

Publication Date: November 10

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won't approve of her feelings for her childhood friend--the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn't as weak as Levana believes her to be and she's been undermining her stepmother's wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that's been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer's national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

Oh my stars, I can not tell you how long I have waited for this book. I've been waiting since,*counts fingers, runs out of fingers* Like ummm.... TWENTY-TWO months!!!! That's like almost two years, and ohh *squeals* it's so close I can almost feel it!!!!
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Interview with Emily C. Burger

Sunday, October 4, 2015
Interview with Emily C. Burger

Welcome to the the second to last stop on the book tour train! I hope you've been having fun so far. I know I am, hope you'll enjoy!


Published by Ravenswood Publishing (July 30th 2015)
Pages: 317

Elizabeth, forgotten daughter of King Henry 8th, is trapped in her own world of bitter hatred over the traumatic events of her past. She longs for greatness and is un-expectantly given the chance to chase down her dreams when a mysterious flying pirate ship lands on the palace roof. Soon she finds herself entangled in a monstrous injustice, forced to face dangers and step out of her comfort zone along with other famous characters from history against a tyrant who knows only cruelty. Together, Elizabeth and her new friends must stand up for their own futures before their dreams are snatched away from them forever.



How did you pick your main characters, especially Changping? Before this I hadn't even heard of her.

I chose characters from history who I found inspiring for one reason or another. I had heard of all of the characters before except Coaxoch and Changping. Coaxoch I stumbled upon whilst researching the Aztecs and Changping was who Google gave me in my pursuit of a Chinese heroine, who inspired me after I read up on her backstory. I also tried to vary the cultures and time zones of my main characters as much as possible, so that played into who I eventually chose as my characters.

Which character was the hardest to write?

I think Coaxoch was the hardest character to write because not only did I have the least amount of research on her but I needed her to be a mislead character rather than a genuinely evil one. Portraying the fact that she was manipulated by Bane and not just equally corrupted was challenging and important to get right.

Which time period was the hardest to write?

I would say each time period was equally challenging for different reasons but what I found most challenging was deciding how characters from one time period would react in another and how characters with such different backgrounds would interact with each other.

Who was the first character that popped into your mind? Was it Elizabeth?

Yes, from the very beginning I knew that Elizabeth would be the centre of my story and I juxtaposed the rest of the characters to either contrast or highlight her personality.

Was there a particular event, story or person who inspired you to right this book?

The thing that really sparked off the idea in the first place was my realization of how little my peers (who at the time would have been grade 9 students) believed in themselves. I couldn't understand why almost everyone my age had this tendency to dismiss themselves as 'not good enough' and really I wanted to show them that everybody who is now famous - started out as a nobody. I wanted to show young people that everyone has fears, everyone has doubts, even the people we look up to, but that doesn't have to stop you from achieving your dreams. So from that intended message I planned the plot, chose my characters and basically formed the book.

I was also hugely inspired by the "Night at the Museum" films which transformed history into something exciting, which is something I aimed to do in my book.

How did the crew on the ship come to you?

I've always loved the Narnia books and the idea of talking animals so just had fun playing around with making animal characters for the crew of The Explorer.



Born in 1997, I spent my earliest years living on the East Coast of South Africa in the town of Pietermaritzburg. I spent my days climbing trees, on the beach or writing short stories for my younger brother. When I was eight years old, our family moved to England where I was exposed to a whole new melting pot of cultures. We travelled Europe as frequently as we could, fuelling my growing hunger to experience the world around me. When I was ten years old my sister was born, and my love for children and writing combined themselves into my imaginations. We returned to the tip of Africa just as I was entering my teen years, and since then we have explored our own country as well as our neighbouring ones. I started writing ‘Thieves of Greatness’ when I was fifteen, finished it by 16 and have now published at the age of 17.
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