15 Followers
5 Following
saritdanayahalomi

Sarit

http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=3303161137888411336#editor/target=post;postID=1017070611931813563;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=0;src=postname

Spindle (Two Monarchies Sequence, #1) by W.R. Gingell - My review

Spindle - W.R. Gingell

First !Thanks to Netgally for the opportunity to read this book.

Well, well, Mrs, Gingell said that it was fun writing this book (not editing of course), on my side it was most fun reading it (as a good writing story should do to a reader - I can't erase the smile of my face while I'm writing this review - I love a book with so much sense of humor. So many people forget how much, humor is important/ It is one of the cornerstone that make life bearable.

So now to the "Spindle" - basically Mrs. Gingell took the old fairy tale of sleeping beauty and create something else, something very refreshing, something that has magic, anti-magic and um-magic.

The characters in the plot are witty, clever and very loveable( most of the good guys). The main heroine is Polly and she isn't a princess, from a mysterious, some one put a curse on her that pot her to sleep for 300 years. But when she is kissed awake from a sleeping curse she's been under broken, by the very outrageous annoying Luck, which done it due to a contract he had to accomplish.

That is also when she, discover that everyone thinks she is a princess.

Luck is no prince either, in fact he's the furthest thing from it, he's an enchenter, a very powerful one, who had been sent to find the sleeping princess and bring her back to the capital to settle a shady government issue. He is very dedicated to his profession to the level of forgetting everything else. He tend to scattered, and chase anything that interest him at the moment. This make him very hard to live with.

Poly find that, he wont do anything that wont ignite his interest, he tend to forget that she have a personal space, and to get some answers from him can give anyone an Headache. As a person who grow in the court she used to people with manners, even though as one who considered as person without magic in a world that most of the people have kind of level of it, she also suffered from abusing. The real princess and her ladies in waiting made her as a target to bulling. As an orphan, there weren't any parents around to protect her from this. But still as a lay in waiting she had the privilege to get an education in history, politics and the in the theory of magic.

When Luck wake her from her sleep she discover that the world had change so much. It's not just the language, and the fashion. She woke up to find two states instead of three. That Civet, she knew turned to New Civet by swallowing Parras. In the New Civet aren't any monarch anymore, but a state that govern by a council. It happened while she was a sleep, when Civet marched to conquer Parss, and their army end in a frozen amber for 300 years. She also learned that the council had more fractions then the old kingdom and some of them, the Royalists are trying to bring the monarchy role back. The royalist think that she is the princess and the key for fulfill their interest.

Anyway Luck claim she has magic and not bother to believe her claim that she don't have any.He also claim that her none-existing ,magic interfere with his and this is why they find themselves in others places them he originally intend or that thing just ended totally different. So this is why he deiced to take her to his village, so he can straight some of the things.He also inform her to hurry so they can catch it in the place that it stay right now. The reason that the village is so shifty is the Forest that it build beside. It has a very raw magical elements, foundations that can influence anything.

He also forget to mention that the people of this village admire ans worship him as god, because his age (150 years)and his strong abilities in magic. He also has a lot of females admirers that each of them tend to look on him dreamily hoping to catch his green eyes in more than fleetly stare.But this was ok only till Poly arrived, every body was shocked to learn that Poly not impress, that she dare to stand on her opinions, and if she have to chastise him she will do it without a second thought.

First time in her life Poly stand in the center of attention, especially male attention and while it was weird (as in the court she had to be invisible - the last abused she had suffer from the princess was cutting her short) in the beginning she started to like it very very much. What I loved in this story that image of Poly wasn't perfect , yes she was pretty but she also was short sighted and had to wear glasses.

In one of the more coherent explanations that he usually gives her she learn that there are 3 kins of magic - the regular one which is common, anti-magic which is less common and un-magic which is very rare. Poly could saw magic in colors. In a very beautiful descriptions the author gave Ploy the ability to see that each person has a different color to his magic ( for exemple Luck has golden magic, Michael has silver, Merissa has red and so on). which create world full of colorful striped of magics. She also learn she can manipulate this stripes of colors.

Poly learned that she has big gaps in her memory. Some things didn't add up. She also discover that the name Mordion ignite bad feelings for some reason and latter it also trigger some of her lost memories. With this, she learned that her powers were stolen, and that her old self hide some of of it with hints how to bring them back. Along this she started to understand why such unimportant lady , in waiting as her was put under a curse in the first place

Source: http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com/2015/07/spindle-two-monarchies-sequence-1-by-wr.html

My Blog

The Deuce blog tour kicks off February 24th and runs until February 28th -givaway and review

 
 
Release Date: 2014
 

Summary from Goodreads:

The epic conclusion to The Vortex Series coming soon!


In an instant everything changes for seventeen-year-old Cassie Moore. Together she and her time-traveling boyfriend, Trent Astor, battle to survive their next impossible challenge. As they navigate through a third parallel world in which Cassie begged Trent to create for her, the two soon discover that no world can be made perfect.
 
And while they fight through their new circumstances, the universe may just have its own agenda for them both.
 
With DEUCE, the 3rd and final book of The Vortex Series, Janine Caldwell combines fantasy and romance to create a compelling love story of integrity and sacrifice.
 
 

My review:

Unfortunately I didn't have the luck to read the 2 previous book in the series.but I did some "homework" to understand what I am reading about. The story is written from both points of view of the main characters Trent and Cassie. While we got rid from the evil Dr. fox we acquired new villeins.
The language in the book is very typical today "teens", so for YA it is ideal. There is another thing that make the book suitable for YA, is that the relationships are hardly more then some mare kisses and hugs. The reading itself were fast pace and along the way a lot of turning and change overs.
Trent Astor when he was 12 years old, the car that he was traveling in with his parents, spun out of control and ended up going over a cliff, killing his parents. By some sort of miracle, he survived. The tragedy of his parents death made Trent "grow up" faster than any child should. He had his younger sister Lorelei to look after and trying to have a normal life was out of the question. Something supernatural happened to Trent while he lay waiting in the wreckage. 
Since then he was able to physically time travel. He would get visions of people getting hurt or injured, and before he knew it, he would end up traveling to that point in time, and he knew that he was meant to change the outcome of sorts.
In the beginning of the book he don't jump, in fact it look that the ability to jump and the treat, mysteriously passed to Cassie. The book actually open with Cassie disappearance to another time line to save a boy from the wolves and Trent had to wait for till she came back. To  make things more complicated all Dr, Fix send "long hands from his grave", and his research somehow reached and publishes at the scientific magazines. And then..... He suddenly disappeared.......
 Cassie MooreOnce a girl whose tennis dreams were shattered after she gets shot, and who has to live with the aftermath for the rest of her life. Now it is her term to experience the meaning of time travel. At the beginning she is in denial and lose precious time to train and to learn to control it. What she going to tell her parents? how ah going to explain her sudden disappearances and repeating sickness?
The problem is that her parents in this life time are over protective. They don't like and also are not excepting Trent. They demand that she will cut their relationship altogether and claim that he have a bad influence on her.
Jeff - He is the son of her parents best friends. At  This life  time Cassie thought that they succeeded to erase all clue to that their relationship is no more then good friends, maybe something of a sibling. Trent can't forget what was and he can't trust him and even feel jealousy. All was well till Jeff fell on his head during a play of basket ball. and then weird thing start to happen.
Goodreads links for series:
 
Buy Links:
 
 

About the Author

Janine Caldwell was born in Concord, CA and raised in the small San Francisco Bay Area town of Clayton. Four days after high school graduation, Janine attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a degree in English.
Janine now lives in Anthem, AZ with her husband and two sons. As a lifelong literature fanatic, she knew it was only a matter of time before she would become obsessed with writing her own work. With relatives like the Brothers Grimm and Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), she figured fantasy writing had to be in her DNA.
 
Books published by Janine include Visited, a YA coming-of-age fantasy, Rematch andDouble Fault–the first two books of The Vortex Series. The final book in this YA fantasy romance, Deuce, will be released soon.
Author Links:
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanineCaldwell?fref=ts
Can you please tweet a link to your post and tag @j9fiction
If you want to tag me (@NereydaG1003) I will RT.
***
 
 
 
***GIVEAWAY***
10 ebooks of Deuce (via smashwords coupon) (INT)
 
 RULES AND RESTRICTIONS: 
Contest is void where prohibited. Entrants must be 13 or else have parent or guardian’s permission to enter. Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond  or another winner’s name will be selected. Winning entries will be verified for authenticity.
 
 
Blog Tour Hosted by:
 

Sustain (Revive #2) by S.C. Harrison - My review

 
 
Sustain (Revive, #2)
Cat never thought she’d let herself be caught. But now it’s her only choice.
Mere minutes after Catriona Lindensen buries her uncle, the chase begins. The Phasmatis wastes no time hunting down their fabled Endurvakning Stelpa, but they’re not the only ones. Cat’s mind becomes a battleground as a new entity creeps ever closer promising safety and protection—at a cost: Card Thomas’ Glamour must fall.
***
There's a war on. Card struggles with his own demons that grow stronger and stronger in the fight against the Phasmatis and makes a decision that forever alters his relationship with Cat. Matt's true allegiance is called out and Hannah becomes more than she ever thought she would be--or wanted to be. We meet a new galdranorn boy with a strange sparking aura and a heart that could change the game. And Cat finally realizes what she needs to be to protect those around her, but it may spell out her own death.
***
 

About the series

The Revive Series is a young adult urban fantasy series following seventeen-year-old Cat as she  fights for her own mind against a demonic court of wraiths determined to imprison her for their own gain. Those close to Cat turn dangerous as she uncovers memories of who and what she is, and soon she must decide just how much to trust those she thinks she loves. Ultimately this strong female protagonist will have to lead the battle against the Phasmatis, or watch them destroy the family she built right in front of her. Parents: The Revive Series is written as young adult fiction, meaning it's best suited for teenagers and up. The series includes scenes of sensuality, bloody violence, animated corpses, ghosts/hauntings, sexual assault, and language, and therefore may not be suitable for children. If your child wants to read REVIVE, please read it first for yourself and decide if they should be exposed to the subject matter in this way.
 

My Review:

Unfortunately I didn't read the 1st boom in the series, "Revive", It is my lose cause I tremendously enjoy "Sustain".
Anyhow to Sustain, The main characters are:
Cat (Catriona Lindensen) - Cat used to moved from town to town with no memory. She was told she was involved in a car wreck with her parents. She was trusted in to the care of her uncle, Haldis. Cat memory slowly comes back because Card triggers some of it. Cat feels safe around him and she discovered that she is faerie - highly sensitive to iron, can see pretty good in the dark, Sharp hearing, strong connection with nature like trees earth, moving tremendously fast.....and such, but her ability to do magic is blocked.
After the death of Haldis (Cat killed him he wasn't her uncle anymore he was a shell which host inside a wraith), the Phasmatis renew their efforts to  hunt her down as their Endurvakning Stelpa, but they’re not the only ones. (The Latin Phrase Phasma Phasmatishas many meanings, mainly: ghost, spirit, specter.wraith)
Their bitter enemy the Witches (Galdranorn, mainly females) join to the race.  They knew about Cat from Helga, Cat's nun and latter house maid. Helga is one of the galdranorn and she was there to watch for the wraiths. Helga was the one to ask her sisters to protect Cat.
Cat’s mind becomes a battleground as they promised her safety and protection in their place in Iceland - of course at a price. They didn't wait for her to decide and sent Soren (male Galdranorn) to bring her with him trough a portal. Cat and Card did't trust the Galdranorns and keep trying to run and hide by themselves as best they can.
Card ThomasHaldis, Cat's uncle wanted to tell her something important about Card just before he died. She didn't listen and she was afraid to know. But Card really has a secret and he afraid to tell Cat about it. He afraid that at the day she will know about it she will despise him.
This also the reason that he hold them back from bonding, even both of them feel ready for it. In Faerie the meaning of bonding is a connection for all life. When one of the mates die the other can't move on and bond with another and has to live lonely till the end of his life. 
The first chink discovered while they had been in Las Vegas. There Card had to meet someone who is the only one who is the same like him, Rebekah. He also started to suffer from strange headaches, around Cat's that the source of where the cuff that she wear..
Card had a mixing feelings to ward Soren. He couldn't trust him and was starting to feel jealous for Cat's strong connection with him. 
Soren Inglesfier - My favorite character. He is a male Galdranorn from the clan in Iceland. His aunts the Witches sent him to fetch Cat. Soren has a funny British English and accent, which he acquired from watching TV. He is tall, pale, and skinning guy. He has red eyes and his hair is almost white and his body covered with black tattoos. The tattoos is hand made of his antes and suppose to protect him from anything.
As a male galdranorn he don't have nay magical powers. His antes treat him as somthing that you should get from it at birth, and in their house he did all the house chores. He even didn't know to write and read , Cat thought him. 
At their first meeting the wraith discovered Cat, while the terror griped her he cuffed her. He has the same cuff and it purpose was to hide from the wraiths, but also to able his ants to locate him. Cat's cuff  had the same purpose and able him to locate her with his own cuff. Both of them couldn't take them down and when they hold their hands his aunts couldn't track them and the masking just get stronger.
Along the way Cat start to feel that fully trust him, Soren himself, was falling hard for her.  But, Can Cat trust him?
Hannah -  Cat's Best friend, the kind that she could tell her every thing.  Soren told them that the wraiths are holding Cat's best friend Hannah. Cat's and Card determined to save her from the hands of the wraiths. They hold Hanna in purpose to attract Cat, as they knew that cat wouldn't allow her best friend to stay in their hands. Staying with the wraith isn't safe. Hannah was the one gave them their next destination to hide from the wraiths... in Banff Canada. She thought she was falling for Soren and in the beginning he cooperate with it. When he couldn't pretend anymore, Hannah found in Matt a real love.
Matt -  Got a straight order from Helga to help Soren, when he arrive to take Cat away to Iceland. At first Cat didn't trust him, she had 2 very good reasons for it. The first was that he almost assault her in the past and the 2nd that he cooperate for along time with the wraiths. The 1st reason he seem not to remember at all and the second she dismissed, when she found how he took care of Hannah all the time that the wraiths kept her.Is she going to make him confront with 1st one?
 * The time is ticking and the rings of wraiths around them get tighter and tight, they are going to discover that r every small mistake will discover as critical....
I really recommend you to read it, grantee that it is going to very hard to stop reading it. 

 About the author;

S.C. HarrisonSC Harrison I SC Harrison was born with a pen in her hand Liar has always loved writing duh? really hates most YA. After diving obsessively into a metric ass-load hundreds of titles, she became disillusioned infuriated disillusioned with the poorly written, unedited, plagiaristic, unoriginal, archetypal PANSY-ASS WEAKLING LITTLE HEROINES AND THEIR DOUCHE BAG BOYFRIENDS pieces of siht bestsellers. And so, after flaming many message boards a stroke of inspiration, she wrote her own. SC believes in showering twice daily writing incredibly long intelligent stories for teens and young adults who look for serial killers behind their shower curtains more from their novels than a vapid, insipid little one dimensional main character making stupid decisions for absolutely no reason Bella Swan. Her worlds are vivid and consuming, her characters deep and soulful, and the plots thought-provoking and surprising. In each story she hopes to create not only money an indelible atmosphere the reader craves long after the last page, but a new way of looking at hot guys the world. Rich in make-out scenes romance, humor, personal struggle, and the love that binds friends, family, and soulmates anything but "soulmates" soulmates, her stories lead readers into traffic fantasies where worlds collide and reality is questioned broken the enemy all in your head.
 
The Sowing

Summery:

The Famine may be over, but the Resistance has just begun.

When Remy Alexander is fifteen, her older sister is murdered in a cold-blooded classroom massacre. When the Okarian Sector hides the truth behind the attack, Remy's family goes underground to join the clandestine and growing Resistance movement. Now, three years later, Remy is beginning to find clues about why her sister was murdered. But at the same time, Valerian Orlean, the boy Remy once loved, is put in charge of hunting and destroying the Resistance. As Vale fights to protect his people and Remy seeks justice for her sister, the two are set on a collision course that could bring everyone together - or tear everything apart.

THE SOWING, the first book in The SEEDS Trilogy, is set in a post-apocalyptic world. In the wake of environmental destruction and a devastating population crash, the Okarian Sector was forced to fight to establish a civil society in a chaotic world. After the loss of seed biodiversity in the destruction of the Old World, genetic modification and artificial agricultural techniques are the Sector’s only choice. Science reigns supreme. The Okarian Agricultural Consortium, a corporation dedicated to perfecting these modified seeds and providing only the best food and medicine to its citizens, becomes the government’s most important arm. But even the purest gold is tarnished over time, and the Sector’s noble goals devolve into manipulation, control, and oppression.

Written by the mother-daughter writing team of Kristy, Amira, and Elena Makansi, this debut post-apocalyptic thriller features romance, enduring friendships, edge-of-your-seat action, and heart-wrenching betrayal.
Okarian Sector Map-01
 

The SEEDS Trilogy is set roughly two hundred and fifty years in the future, after a series of apocalyptic events and global famines decimated the world’s population. With the world’s climes severely affected by global warming, and large areas of the continents rendered unusable because of nuclear radioactivity, agricultural zones have shifted and the center of civilization has regrown.
In the last one hundred or so years, humans have banded together once again to create civil society, and today, the Okarian Sector stands as a shining example of the spirit of cooperation and enterprise. The capital city of Okaria is ringed by factory towns, centers of industry, production, and technological growth, and supported by the Farms, which under the careful guidance of the Okarian Agricultural Consortium, have once again been able to grow enough food to support the population. The OAC, a corporation led by scientists and researchers, has been pioneering the use of genetically modified seeds, which, unlike those of the Old World, are designed to produce crops that can weather drought, cold, heat, pests, and disease, all the while maintaining the principles of biodiversity and natural farming techniques on the Farms.
This map of the Okarian Sector is still a work in progress, and will be updated as we get closer to the launch of the book.

THE TECHNOLOGY

As you read through THE SOWING, you’ll be drawn into a science-fiction world. Since our characters are trying to rebuild their world after devastating climate change, we tried to write about technology that is sustainable, doesn’t rely on fossil fuel, and incorporates plant-based substances into the designs. Here are a few examples:
The Sarus, Vale’s airship, runs off of a cold-fusion generator and an ionic propulsion system. The cold-fusion generator is totally sci-fi; the ionic propulsion system is science. It’s not in use yet, but it’s getting there. Here’s an article in Businessweek about it: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-08/mit-researchers-fire-up-the-ionic-thrusters and here’s the MIT paper to match: http://lae.mit.edu/?p=2450.
Bolts, which are the weapons that the soldiers in the Sector use, are neither lasers nor conventional bullets. They’re a form of an electrolaser, which is essentially a juiced up form of a taser. They combine the force of a thunderbolt with all the precision of a conventional weapon. The Sector uses these weapons because they don’t require mass-producing bullets, and they can be fired via rechargeable (and renewable) energy sources. Check out more information about electrolasers on the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolaser and at this website: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-electrolaser.htm.

The Buzzz...

WE’RE IRRESISTIBLE!
Compulsion Reads Endorsed: The Best Books Demand Our Attention

  • We are thrilled to announce that The Sowing: Book One of the Seeds Trilogy has been chosen as a Compulsion Reads “Irresistible Read”! This means they loved the book so much they’re featuring it in a special selection of books you just have to read. We couldn’t be more pleased!
    Here’s what they had to say:
    “The Sowing checks off all the boxes on my “Nope, not gonna put it down” list. Written from the shifting first person perspectives of Vale Orleán and Remy Alexander, readers get to ride along as Remy and her teammates fight the system, and as Vale slowly begins to see through the cracks in his perfect society. Author K. Makansi douses The Sowing with plenty of science talk that is surprisingly accessible to non-sciency types like myself. Equally impressive is that Makansi also writes deep, vibrant characters. The result is a story that tickles the intellect and pulls on the heartstrings. By the end of the book, I had truly come to care about many of the characters in Makansi’s world, especially Remy’s broody, brilliant and darkly sarcastic rebel teammate Soren (love you Soren!).
    As Remy and Soren desperately guard a dangerous secret that could change everything, Vale’s digging leads to horrific revelations. How far does the conspiracy go, and what role did his parents play in that terrible massacre that left Remy’s sister dead?
    The Sowing is a brilliant adventure where war is as much about brain and brawn. The action doesn’t stop for a single minute. I think I sprained my finger swiping my Kindle so vigorously trying to get to the next page. Yeah, it’s that good.”
    The review will be posted on our official Compulsion Reads page in a few days, along with an author interview and our bio. We even get a shiny seal to put on our print covers! In the meantime, now’s the time to get your own copy. We’ve officially got both print and e-books available, and The Sowing is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. Christmas gifts, anyone?
    Word of mouth is the best marketing tool! We’d love it if you’d recommend this book on Goodreads, shared this link on your social media networks, or even just told someone about how much you loved The Sowing. Help us spread the word!
    Thanks for stopping by!

My Review:

The Sowing is a real page-turner. It is a one of the very best quality  sci-fi that I read lately. It's hard science fiction in the sense that it avoids use of magic and fantasy and extrapolates into the future from current genetic engineering of crops to how new developments in that science can change society, politics, and human nature itself. The science of DNA technology is a central element in the plot and it is a subject that is close to my heart.
After religious wars followed by years of famine decimated the population, the remaining society has evolved and organized itself into a series of farms and research labs--those who come up with the ideas and those who do the manual labor to implement them--to keep the people safe and healthy. The leaders and elite lived in the capital city of Okaria happy and safe, while the farms and factories outside the city hum with productivity.
As you see this world is richly drawn and becomes a platform for exploring a number of interesting subjects, such as genetically modified food, man’s impact on the environment, and class dynamics. As much, you can take The Sowing as a fascinating thought experiment: what if your social circle splits in half, and people you’ve once loved--friends, teachers, parents--grow to despise you?  What is the meaning of genetic modifications? Can you also see the positive in this? ....and Science isn't for itself isn't good or bad.
Remy Alexander and her friends born into the elite meritocracy of the Okarian Sector. From an early age she and her friends were programmed for intellectual and physical superiority through specialized dietary regimes administered by the Okarian Agricultural Consortium.
At first, we don’t know why the Resistance has broken off from the rest of society, but they are the group who have realized that the Sector and OAC have been manipulating their subjects for years with this genetically modified food, and that they will stop at nothing to ensure their programs of oppression, forced labor, and breeding remain in place.  The Resistance is outside of the Sector's reach, located among the mysterious and secretive Outsiders, spreading the news of the Sector's lies and manipulations, taking shots at the Sector's storage and research facilities when they can, and working toward a day when the Sector's programs can be exposed and destroyed, restoring the order of nature and free will among the people.
That’s the scenario Remy Alexander and Vale Orlean find themselves in. They are the two main characters, which were masterfully written. The novel alternates between Remy and Vale’s points of view and puts them on a collision course towards reuniting.
In the beginning they seemed as the most bitter enemies, but slowly you discover a very close friends with the promise of more. Remy’s family joined a group of resistance fighters, while Vale, the son of the Chancellor, was put in charge of their extermination.
Remy is a talent artist, smart and loving character, but she also very angry, bitter and confused. She had a very good reasons to be such - When she was fifteen, her older sister Tai is murdered in a cold-blooded classroom massacre. The Okarian Sector hides the truth behind the attack, and Remy's family (her parents used to be prominent officials in the Sector) goes underground to join the clandestine and growing Resistance movement  suspecting a foul play. Among the Resistance It's a difficult and dangerous life, and over three years, Remy has become a hardened and seasoned rebel fighter. Three years later, she begins to find some clues to why her sister murdered. 
Valerian Orlean, is the son of the two most powerful people in the Sector, the chancellor and the head of the OAC. Vale was raised for success and leadership; his life has been one of privilege and luxury, He just been appointed as the director of a new program aimed at breaking the Resistance and he takes his training very seriously and determines to do what is necessary to preserve the stability of the Sector, even if it means finding out Remy Alexander and turn her over to the authorities for punishment. But when Remy and Vale come face-to-face during a rebel mission gone horribly wrong, neither of them will ever be the same again. Forced to consider that everything he has ever known has been a lie, Vale must decide where his loyalties lie . Because he is haunted by the memory of his friendship with Remy and he was determined to find out why she disappeared. He discovers as an inherently a good person trying to do the best that he can while watches everything that he know and believe, collapse around him as he slowly begins to see through the cracks in his perfect society. . 
The middle chapters of the book provide some of the most intense moments  of Feelings -  guilt, betrayal, and indignation.
The rest of the characters flesh out a rich world, from the surly biologist with a mysterious past (he made military weapons-grade flowers) to the brilliant sidekick caught up in the escape and along for the ride.  It  appear that there is a love triangle forming -  Her Resistance friend Soren is aloof, condescending, and shady, though for all of that he seems to have an attachment to her. 
 
 

About the author

 

 

K. Makansi is the pen name for the mother-daughter writing team of Kristy, Amira, and Elena Makansi.K. MakansiKristina Blank Makansi – Born and raised in Southern Illinois, Kristina has a B.A. in Government from University of Texas at Austin and a M.A.T. from the College of New Jersey and an opinion on everything. She has worked as a copywriter, marketing coordinator, web and collateral designer, editor, and publisher. In 2010, she co-founded Blank Slate Press, an award-winning small press focusing on debut authors in the greater St. Louis area, and in 2013, she co-founded Treehouse Publishing Group, an author services and assisted-publishing partnership. She firmly believes that traditional genre boundaries should not apply to great writing. In addition to The Seeds Trilogy, she is hard at work revising her historical fiction, Oracles of Delphi, set in ancient Greece.

Amira K. Makansi
- Amira graduated with honors in three years from the University of Chicago. She earned a BA in History and was a team leader and officer for UChicago Mock Trial. She has served as an assistant editor and has read and evaluated Blank Slate Press submissions since the press was founded. She is an avid reader and blogger who also has a passion for food, wine, and photography. She has worked at various wineries in Oregon and France and is approaching fluency in French. Along with working part-time for BSP, she currently works for a wine distributorship in St. Louis. In addition to The Seeds Trilogy, she reviews books and blogs about writing, food and wine at The Z-axis.

Elena K. Makansi – Elena is a rising senior at Oberlin College where she is focusing on Environmental Studies especially as it relates to her passion–food justice. She’s also studied studio art and drawing and has had her work featured in several college publications. While in high school, she won numerous writing and poetry awards, was awarded a scholarship to attend the Washington University Summer Writing Institute and attended the Iowa Young Writers Studio. She also won a scholarship to represent her Amideast cohort as the “resident” blogger during her study abroad in Amman, Jordan. She and Amira backpacked through Europe together and share a passion for cooking, baking–and, yes, eating. Elena maintains a Tumblr and a blog, Citizen Fiddlehead, about food and other topics

Source: http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com
Aquifer

Summery:

 
Only he can bring what they need to survive.

In the year 2250, water is scarce, and those who control it control everything. Sixteen-year-old Luca has struggled with this truth, and what it means, his entire life. As the son of the Deliverer, he will one day have to descend to the underground Aquifer each year and negotiate with the reportedly ratlike miners who harvest the world's fresh water. But he has learned the true control rests with the Council aboveground, a group that has people following without hesitation, and which has forbidden all emotion in the name of keeping the peace. This Council has broken his father's spirit, while also forcing Luca to hide every feeling that rules his heart.

But when Luca's father goes missing, everything shifts. Luca is forced underground, and discovers secrets and mysteries that cause him to questions who he is and the world he serves. Together with his friends and a very alluring girl, Luca seeks to free his people and the Rats from the Council's control. But Luca's mission is not without struggle and loss, as his desire to uncover the truth could have greater consequences than he ever imagined.

 

My Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed how the author described this dystopian future of a world without freshwater on the surface. AQUIFER is a story of highly controlled society, lack of water, children educated by government, lies, family secrets, and betrayal. It’s also a story of friendship and learning to trust. There is violence, death, and dead bodies in this story but it creates a sadness in the reader instead of horror. It was nice to find that the plot takes place around the coast of Australia and it's center New Pert.
There is none explanation how the world came to be so  dry, but that was likely due to the lack of knowledge of Luca, who tells the story in first person narrative. In this world, the written word had all but been destroyed, as it is seen as a method that could incite rebellion.
The control of the society rests with the Council of nine above ground, a group that has people following without hesitation, and which has forbidden all emotion in the name of keeping the peace. Everyone had been told lies to keep their emotions in check and daily lifestyle uniform for the greater good of peace and harmony. In a world that demands conformity there are the fearsome Amongus (the council "Law enforcers") tasked with stamping out any hint of individuality or emotion. Every one fear the Amongus who go around with Emotional Detectors ( the Dails). The consequences of these "crimes" warrant either a debriefing, which is a brainwashing, the result of which makes one a numb, walking slave; or the March of the Undone, where the targeted person/persons are marched to the docks, board a boat, row to a certain point of the ocean, clap weighted shackles to their wrists and ankles, and jump overboard. Any reference to a dead person, or to death at all, is referred to as undone. The only people who can go under the dials - are the Wishers, with their faith in the prophecy. They help Luca with  whispers into his head.
Luca is a Deliver's son and when he is 16, he is a Deliverer.  Generations of one family that goes below once a year to form an agreement to supply water to the "toppers". He will one day have to descend to the underground Aquifer each year and negotiate with the reportedly ratlike miners who harvest the world's fresh water.
One day everything changes and all that has been becomes the biggest "wrinkle" (emotion create wrinkles). When his dad, Massa, disappears Luca knows that something is wrong. His father always knows the way back. As he investigates, someone tries to kill him. Luca suspect that someone decides to force Massa to give up the route. 
He know that his father never will give the secret and this is why he probably held alive somewhere. He must complete the task of going underground and bringing water to his world or everything will turn to chaos and everyone will die. He also must find him, because, the only thing that he is missing for being deliver is the start point to the Aquifer. 
Along the way, he finds a lot about his history and his family. The life of a deliverer is not all it appears. The Council tried to break his father's spirit, while also forcing Luca to hide every feeling that rules his heart.
Seward, is a pirate and one who occasionally works for the government, retrieving the ones who have been undone. he and Luca meet when Luca need help in retrieving stash of books that he found. Luca then find that Seward is on an expedition for recovery of  a body that is dressed like Luca's dad, but they found that it doesn't have the same markings. the council tried to prove the Massa is undone. Seward is both clever and sneaky, he’s also the comic relief in the story. I felt like he was one of the few adults in the book who risks his life to protect Luca and only cares about Luca’s best interest. Seward is not afraid of Amongus and he’s good at tricking them.
Wren -  the museum director with her own secrets. She helps Luca and also has no fear of the government. She inspires Luca and teaches him to read.
Walery - One day, when Luca is about to witness the undone of some people, he saves one of them: Walery. He doesn't know Walery that well, but he still decides that it's not right for him to die. Luca keeps Walery in his house and tries to keep him alive whilst his father makes the agreement with the Water Rats. 
Lendi, one of Luca's friends from school. Lendi was really awesome and was there for Luca most of the time.
Talya, the daughter of a Water Rat, was pretty nice. When Luca meets Talya (Her), a Rat girl, she stirs feelings inside him he’s never before felt. She fell for him too and her trust in him didn't waver till they meet Walery .

  About the author

 I had the perfect life. 
I was the grade-school star and the teacher’s pet. The world revolved around me and I suspected it always would. If you ask most people about their life, they don’t begin with fifth grade. But that was a good year.
Author Jonathan FriesenIllness changed that. I retreated into a shell and escaped into words. Writing a story sucked the pain out of me, at least for a while. That’s when I learned to “feel” on paper. I didn’t think I’d be an author, I didn’t think I’d be much of anything, I was simply writing to survive.

Life changed in college. Health returned, the cloud lifted, and I got my teaching license.

Being a teacher, and being with those kids healed me. Surrounded by them, I relived periods of time stolen by childhood sickness. I was in my glory. But I couldn’t escape storytelling. All those years expressing myself on paper left their mark.

While my students worked, I wrote at my desk. Jerk California, my first book, flowed out of my own “lost years,” but hope fills the pages. Writing it was a beautiful thing to experience.

I now live on a horse farm with my wife, three children, and a growing number of animals.

Our home is on a hill that overlooks a river that snakes through a beautiful valley. We tear along the stream on the 4-wheeler. My three kids race through the pasture and scale the sides of the sand pit; they search for agates and chase wild turkeys that trespass on the gravel road that connects our hill to the rest of the world. I have promised them chickens and horses, but for now they settle for bald eagle and bear. It’s a good place to play and write.

At night, I walk out and listen to the wind rattle paper-thin bark on our birch trees. I stare at stars nobody else has seen and start a bonfire so bright it chases all the stars away. Then, my clothes full of smoke and my mind filled with ideas, I come inside and write until my fingers get heavy on the keyboard.

I love it here
Source: http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com
The Anomaly

Summery:

 
A tale of Haven and Hades, of watchful Guides and transmigrating Souls, and of the little, green Soul, from the Order of Agitators, who derails them all.
Narrated from both sides of life, The Anomaly presents an alternate reality, a dimension where every Person is a Player, where every Player is a reincarnated Soul, and where every Soul is a patron of either Haven or Hades...except Zia.
Chilkoot Pass, Alaska 1898. From Zia's lies come a disastrous ripple effect; her 10th life ends, the paths of four others skew, and the cord to humanity's future shifts. Haven and Hades ignite into war. Across celestial and physical planes, Hades sends their most ruthless Soul--Triite, Order of Persuaders--to track, target, and coerce Zia. While fighting Hades' plots to claim or destroy her, Haven discovers a paradox within Zia's Soul--a devastating paradox. For Haven to have any chance of regaining the cord in the 21st Century, they must first win another battle--a battle of wits, wisdom, and strategies to redeem the irrepressible prankster, practiced opportunist, artful liar Zia.

 

My Review:

The Anomaly s was an excellent book that I couldn't stop reading. 
The story flash like a fire crackers show all over the sky. It will sweeps you over like a Tornado which roll and leave nothing on its way. It was so different from anything that I meet in this subject, before and I so love that idea. Wendy Joyce treat all those questions of life, death, after life, good vs. bad,  in her unique way:
Apparently, a chink may appear, causing what the powers that be may consider a flaw, an anomaly? as you cause a cluster of particles to a wake to its awareness there is always a chance that it will be something different from other clusters. This particles clusters are souls and they are the ultimate recyclable.
Zia, is a slight, green soul with purple hair from the Order of the Agitators, she has always been different, rebellious, and a little too inquisitive. Zia is a complex and hilariously fun character who bumbles her way admirably through to her destiny. Full of unique concepts and terrific character you will enjoy The Anomaly - I guarantee it.
She breaks all the rules but means well just the same. She just can't seem to fathom what she is doing wrong or why the Guides are cross with her. She just isn't like the other Souls in Haven. She never sent to haven like all the other souls, but to the divisional, and she think it is her guide fault. She also convince herself that it is better like this. She has only one friend Awen Order of messengers,  but unfortunately he is a Dyad, which mean that he have a soul mate. Zia don't like his soul mate, Ereo, and she ignore her completely.
Every time she is sent to Earth to be born she messes up and the some in Haven fear she will turn from One (sort of like Good ones) and become one of Niie (basically the evil ones). Romal her former Guide transfer her to Alpha another kind of guide, a Peril Guide. Zia don't understand the meaning of this change - only those who can cause harm and don't have clear preference to go to haven get this kind of Guides. And because Zia caught the Niie 's interest.
The book start with - Chilkoot Pass, Alaska 1898. From Zia's lies come a disastrous ripple effect; her 10th life ends, the paths of four others skew, and the cord to humanity's future shifts.
Haven and Hades ignite into war. Across celestial and physical planes, Hades sends their most ruthless Soul--Triite, Order of Persuaders--to track, target, and coerce Zia. While fighting Hades' plots to claim or destroy her, Haven discovers a paradox within Zia's Soul--a devastating paradox. For Haven to have any chance of regaining the cord in the 21st Century, they must first win another battle--a battle of wits, wisdom, and strategies to redeem the irrepressible prankster, practiced opportunist, artful liar Zia. 
Is she the problem in the big scheme of life, or is she the solution? What makes her so different from other souls? 
Along Earth decades and in a very complicate waltz of steps and souls  - Haven strategy against the Niie plans,  is:
  • To assigned her for a Peril Guide,
  • To see if she will acknowledge Ereo;
  • To see if she comes to care for her 'sister' Jen (who is Phoenix from the healers order) to her she assigned as a whisper;
  • At the same time to convince her to put some order in her soul by get rid from all those fragments that she carry from previews lives ( with the help of Malachi from the Finishers Order)
Every thing have to converge in the Neutral point. With same old/new characters in the play. Now Zia turn out first time as a female and she is the best persona ever. Each side place them carefully in chess like game. What is going to determine the result is the free will of these characters, which is the most sacred thing.

Prologue

April 3, 1898

Chilkoot Pass, Alaska

Beneath his feet, a mound of stones and ice entombed his Charge’s empty shell, and above his head, snow flurries shimmered in the flickering lights of concerned Guides. Those of a sensitive nature had asked, “Romal, would you like me to stay?” Others, more given to pointedness, had said, “Romal, your Charge left hours ago; why do you hover above the shell?”

Whether tactful or direct, all Guides shared genuine concern. Quite endearing, Romal thought, but also foolish and unnecessary. With a gracious smile, Romal ushered their leave. Apparently, though, they needed more ushering. Romal wagged his finger at them. “Do you intend to linger overhead until the Players glimpse your lights? And what absurdity will they conclude your lights to be? I suggest you see to your Charges’ Awakenings before your imprudent delays create a ridiculous legend within the Players’ history books.”

Instantly, sixty-two Guides vanished. Romal sighed, his eyes now turning toward Haven. “Well, One, so begins this corner of your tapestry.”

A team of rescue workers trudged past, their shoulders sagging, their steps stumbling. They were valiant men, but thoroughly fatigued. Still, how much effort did it take to turn their chins and notice the plot of snow they were leaving unsearched? Romal flinched at his selfish thought. The Players’ hands were blistered, their toes frostbitten. Their pain deserved regard; a Player’s shell did not. A Player’s shell had less value than a Player’s clothing. Shells always returned to dust; clothing, at least, could be worn again. Eventually, the workers would uncover the rest of the buried shells. Romal looked across the plateau to count just how many shells remained.

One? Romal cleared his throat of a grumble. Zia’s shell was the only body to have escaped their notice. Often lost as a Soul, always lost as a Player, Zia had now left a shell to be lost as well. Romal found no humor in this irony.

He peered into the lives of the rescue workers—natives, stampeders, and one retired detective, the eldest of the group. The man had a powerful stride—or so his companions perceived. In truth, arthritis knotted the man’s knees; his steps came down hard or they wouldn’t come down at all. Years of bone hitting bone had sunken the man’s cheeks into a permanent wince. Though the cold winds bit into the man’s joints, a complaint never left the man’s lips. Romal issued a vibration to the man’s heart. “Turn around.”


 
 

A group of tired heels were dragging up the icy slope when the detective’s chin jerked up, his steps halting, his spine straightening. Briefly, he held still, listening. He then swiveled, his hand shielding his eyes from wind and snow.

A stampeder nudged him. “Franklin, you coming?”

Franklin nodded but didn’t move. He saw the evidence of a thorough search—shallow holes and deep craters, dirt mounds and rock piles, boulders and tree limbs still wrapped in their hoisting ropes. Thorough, he told himself, but a queer feeling—an instinct, he figured—disagreed.

He waved the stampeder on and headed back.

Standing in the center of the searched area, Franklin noticed an embankment shadowing a mound of snow left undisturbed. “Darn.” He started toward it. A few feet from the spot, a blast of heat rushed into him. His steps faltered, but he caught himself quickly, his knees now bending freely and painlessly. He straightened with renewed vigor, but had no time to ponder this odd return of his health; he had work to do. He began to dig.

Over and over, dirt and ice flung from his shovel. Eventually, a body emerged—a body encased in red snow.

Franklin wiped the frost from his brow, his squint shifting from the blood on his shovel to the blood on the half-buried man. He knelt on the frozen mud for a closer look. “I’ll be darned.” He pulled off a glove.

Tailed to a frigid gust came a stampeder’s call, “You got a live one?”

His left hand railing the dirt and stones, his right hand probing the hole in the dead man’s chest, Franklin hadn’t a free arm to signal, no.

Stampeders, hopeful, hurried to Franklin, their shovels, canteens, and gurneys clanging.

Franklin got to his feet, his blood-soaked hand tightening into a fist.

When the rescue workers saw the body, they rested their shovels. A questioning look passed among them before it settled on Franklin.

“You suppose a tree branch got him?” a stampeder asked. “I bet that’s what got him. A tree branch came down and—”

“Diller, hush up,” Franklin said. “Ain’t no tree branch killed this man. He was good and dead before the avalanche.”

“Before the avalanche? What do you suppose stuck him in the chest?”

Franklin held up what his fist had enclosed. “A bullet.”
Wendy JoyceWendy Joyce lives with her husband on a lavender farm in the Sierra Nevada foothills. As the owner of a government contracting company, Ms. Joyce has been writing and editing in the technical and legal arena for over 25 years. As a fiction writer, she debuts with The Anomaly.












 
 

A number of factors inspired The Anomaly.

 

Below is just one.



A decade ago...

 

I wanted to join a cult. Well, not actually join, but enter. The hundreds of questions I wanted to ask distilled down to this: "Why do you believe in this stuff?"

 

That Christmas, I unwrapped book after book carting one theme--Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer, Bizarre Beliefs by Simon Hoggart and Mike Hutchinson, and a textbook on cults, to name three from the dozens I received. Though I love the books and have read them cover to cover, they reveal how a trickster fools a person, but not why the person believes it.

 

For example, one book explains how a medium fashions a white vaporous stream, but not why the medium's client believes it is the ghost of her dead aunt. (Why not steam rising up from the floorboards? Why not an alien? Or why not a ghost posing as her relative?) Whether scientific or foolish, unlimited possibilities exist. The client, however, fixes onto one particular meaning...the medium's intended meaning. (By deepening and sustaining the client's belief, the medium will parlay her profits. Why doesn't that fact alone compel the client to explore other reasons for the vapor?)

 

Later, the client gathers with five friends and tells them about her experience. Two scoff, but three clutch onto the same meaning as the client. "Wow, you spoke to your aunt's ghost?"

 

Now they are a group of four holding onto one fixed meaning to a singular event. As they share the client's story with friends, their group grows. The more the group grows, the less open to alternative meanings each individual becomes.

 

"Mystic followers are idiots," I've heard countless times, and I wish it were true. Stupidity would make for a neat fit to my question. Unfortunately, intelligence has little to do with it. (Two of Manson's followers had brilliant IQs.) Further, religions gain members in the same way; The Bible is the event, billions of people comprise the client, and factions of Christianity form into distinct groups, each group committing to one interpretation of the event...an interpretation delivered by the leader/medium/head, who profits by quelling alternative ideas and by sustaining and deepening the group's belief.

If every dollar mailed to an Evangelist, or slipped into an offering basket, or tithed to a church were instead given directly to a charity—children's hospitals, homeless shelters, food banks—SOCIETY would benefit.

From the brain's consciousness to the Soul's awareness, from spiritual doctrines to quantum physics, we have an unending universe of possibilities to explain our existence. And yet... 

Why do intelligent people latch onto one possibility to the dismissal of all others?

 

The Anomaly is premised, not on answering that question—no universal answer exists—but on presenting one possibility, drawn from the infinite number and told through a suspenseful tale that fuses both sides of life.

Wendy Joyce
 
Source: http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com

EKHO blog tour, Excerpts, Review & Giveaway

EKHO Cover newEKHO by Marie D. Jones


Ten-year-old Elvis Jones is tired of being picked on, taunted, and teased by the bullies at his elementary school, so he does what any smart, technologically brilliant kid his age would do: he creates EKHO, the Evil Kid Hunting Organization, a sophisticated network of kid spies and secret agents that utilize a variety of cool gadgets to stay one step ahead of the enemy – the bullies. They hire kids, make them swear allegiance to the organization, and train them as Commandos, Privates, and Elite Spies. As kids rise through the ranks, the missions, posted on an encrypted EKHO website, require more smarts and skill, especially when the bullies form their own counterspy group called DEKE (Destroy EKHO Kids Everywhere). It’s all in good fun, until the kids of EKHO must put their pretend skills to use for far more serious, and dangerous, missions. As field agents come across evidence of more sinister forces, they now have to deal with the strange, weird, and the unknown as they look for the truth about the bizarre and creepy threats to their school, their families, and their own lives. They experience betrayal, intrigue, infiltration and counter-espionage as well as teachers and adults who act more mysterious with each passing day, which leaves Elvis and his EKHO team wondering: who can you trust when the person standing next to you might not be entirely human?
Coming February 4, 2014


EKHO tour


Tour Schedule


Marie JonesAuthor Marie D. Jones
Marie D. Jones is a best-selling author with an extensive background in unknown mysteries, metaphysics, science, and the paranormal. She has been featured multiple times on the History Channel in Ancient Aliens and Nostradamus Effect. Marie also served as a special UFO/abduction consultant for the 2009 Universal Pictures movie, The Fourth Kind. She is a staff writer for FATE Magazine and Intrepid Magazine and a regular contributor to Paranoia Magazine and New Dawn Magazine. Marie has been interviewed on hundreds of radio talk shows all over the world, including Coast to Coast AM, and has been featured in dozens of newspapers, magazines, and online publications, internationally. She has lectured widely at major paranormal, new science, and self-empowerment events, and is the screenwriter and co-producer of 19 Hz, a paranormal thriller in development with Bruce Lucas Films.

My Review 


This book is aimed at middle school and younger but is fun, full of action and positive that anyone could enjoy it. The writing is great
papperd with humor, and the message  is even better.
The pacing is good and keeps your attention. In the spirit of this age there were references to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Redditt  (There was also mentions of Gangnam style, Calls of Duty, and HTML coding)... in short - all the "staff"  that draw kids. I was amazed to learn that the book is based on the real life experiences of the author's son. Well done to both of you. I can't wait for the sequel.
This  book takes the subject of bullying and deals with it in very creative and inventive ways. The setting is California grade school. The school may have a policy against bullying, but the kids don't feel anyone would help them.
Elvis and his three friends, Levi, Jordy and Jackson, are 4th graders now, and have been bullied by the same bullies for several years. These kids are smart, fun, and want to be normal and not bullied, but all of them have characteristics that make them the targets of bullies, Elvis having muscular problems, being wheelchair bound in the past, and still with a limp. 
So... this year Elvis decides to do something about it, and enlists his friends to form EKHO, the Evil Kid Hunting Organization, to stop the bullies of their school. Organization is kind of spy club and that keep tabs on the bullies.
The main Character - Elvis Jones - a sensitive good guy, technology-savvy and academically smart. His main treats - valiant, courageous, compassionate, empathetic, humorous, and basically everything are all you want in a friend. On top of that even his young age - ten years old he was running an anti-bullying organization. I also loved how Elvis talks about his mom and his extended family with love and pride. and how his mom loves him, and stands up for him.
Romance - EKHO had one of the cutest romances I have read in a long time. Elvis had a crush on Kayley since the second grade. I a cute way, he was stressed out over whether Kayley was a distraction to his goal and even his friends took notice and teased him about how he was giving her special treatment. 

Overall I liked it and gladly recommend it to my son and his friends (5th graders)  Same time I really would read another book about EKHO and find out what else is going on in their school.

Excerpt #1 – From Chapter One

Outside, Elvis and Levi took refuge under the massive jungle gym, sitting on semi-wet bark chips while all around them kids played and screamed. Baseball games, dodge ball, handball, basketball, tetherball, jump rope, tag; too many physical activities going on. But Elvis wasn’t up to competing with kids who could outrun and out jump him. It never worked out well.
Good at hitting the ball, he could even hold his own in kick ball, which they often played against the teachers and staff. But he couldn’t run or move fast. His talents were more the brainy and technical type. He could hack the Pentagon, but he couldn’t get down court and throw a decent three-pointer.
“We can’t hide all year, you know,” Levi said, although somewhat halfheartedly.
“Why not? It worked last year,” Elvis mumbled back.
Somebody ran by and kicked bark into Levi’s face. He spit out a woodchip and gave Elvis a “See what I mean?” look.
 

Excerpt #2 – From Chapter One

Elvis stopped and turned to see one of the remaining school bullies—big Billy Bradshaw—standing there smirking. And next to Billy was his evil sidekick, Joe Broadback. Joe didn’t talk much, just stood there all meaty and mean looking, like Billy’s bodyguard. Both boys were in the fourth grade but looked like sixth graders.
Elvis thought about saying something about their odd and extreme size and asking whether they’d been held back a few years, but he stopped himself before the first word squeaked out. He liked living. He wanted to live longer.
So he yanked Levi through the classroom door and pulled it shut.
 
 

Excerpt #3 – From Chapter Three

 


Elvis closed his bedroom door once the gang had been accounted for and handed each boy a black folder. On the cover were the letters EKHO in large techno silver lettering.
“Read these, and if you agree with the terms and specifics, you can sign the last page and give them back to me,” Elvis said, folding his arms proudly.
“Dude, are these like legal papers? We being sued? You sound so formal,” Levi said as he flipped through the folder. “And what is EKHO?”
“Evil Kid Hunting Organization. It’s our name. Our spy agency. All spy agencies use acronyms.”
“Acro-huh?” Jordy piped up.
Elvis scowled. “Do you not pay attention in Language Arts class? Jeez. Acronyms use letters to abbreviate words. Like the CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency. Or like NFL, National Football League. Duhhhh.”
“Or the YST, You Suck Turds,” Levi added with a snort.
“Wow, cool.” Jordy’s eyes lit up. “EKHO, cool.”
“So this describes the various ranks, who is responsible for what, and how we will train newbies—”
Levi cut Elvis off with a wave of his hand. “Newbie’s? Why do we have to bring in any other kids?”
Elvis shook his head in disbelief. “You honestly think the four of us can handle spying on all those bullies? I think we need a little help, dude.”
The boys read through their files.
“I’m in,” Jackson said. “You goth a pen?”
Elvis found a pen and handed it to Jackson, who promptly signed the form on the final page and handed it back to Elvis.
“Do I geth a copy for my fileth?”
Elvis looked at him, wide-eyed. “You have files? Of what?”
Jackson shrugged and continued reading. The other two boys promptly signed and turned in their forms.
 
 

Excerpt #4 – from Chapter Thirteen

 
Back in class, Elvis sat down and returned to his book. He felt Santana’s eyes boring through him again, and took out his spy pen, touched the VIDEO ON button and pretended to scratch his back with it. When he was sure Mr. Barleycorn wasn’t looking, he turned the volume down and watched the video.
It was a bit shaky from the movements up and down his back, but what he saw almost made him jump out of his seat.
Maybe it was just the crappy spy pen camera or a trick of the light, but Elvis could swear he saw a flash come out of Santana’s staring, glaring eyes. No, it had to be a trick of the light, Elvis assured himself. After all, it wasn’t like she was a reptilian alien from another planet, just a big ugly girl who liked to pick on him and his friends. He would get another spy pen.
 
 

Excerpt #5 – from Chapter Fifteen

 

 

Elvis saw who the voice belonged to, and every hair stood on end, including hairs he didn’t even know he had.
Billy Bradshaw stepped out from behind the hedges bordering the golf course and stood twenty yards behind Elvis.
Elvis debated the distance. He could outrun him to the condo entrance, but beyond that was anybody’s guess. Plenty of people were around to witness it if Billy tried something stupid, which, knowing Billy, was entirely possible. As Billy slowly walked towards him, Elvis decided to stand his ground. He had to. He was an EKHO Elite and if Jordy could go down with a split lip for the cause, he could certainly take some heat.
Billy stopped ten feet away from Elvis, sweating and pale. Billy cast glances over each shoulder and seemed spooked. He spoke barely above a whisper. “Dude … can we talk somewhere private?” He panted.
Either the walking had done Billy in, or he was scared crapless about something. “About what?” Elvis asked.
Billy checked for watchers again.
If he had joined EKHO, Billy could have used the rear vision sunglasses and could stop craning his neck every few seconds. Elvis held back a snicker. Of course, Billy wouldn’t join EKHO because it had been started because of kids like him.
The kids in the park, the golfers, and the runners were all oblivious. Even the dogs couldn’t give a crap about the strange conversation between bully and bullied going on just yards away.
“Dude, there is strange stuff going on, and I don’t like it.” Billy moved a bit closer, and Elvis took a step back.
 “What kind of strange stuff?” Elvis asked, and his voice shook a little.
Billy closed his eyes, and bit his lip, as if trying to decide whether he should continue. “With DEKE. Strange, just … strange. Joe … Santana, something is up with them. I can’t explain it, but something is strange.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 2/28/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash.
Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you.
The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author.

VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW

. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Source: http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com/2014/02/ekho-blog-tour-excerpts-review-giveaway.html

Princes and Fools by A.H. de Carrasco - Expert and Review

 

 

Tour Schedule Link: http://bit.ly/1e2msMM
 

Book: Princes and Fools

Series: Teller of Destiny #2



Author: A.H. de Carrasco
Genre: Young / New Adult Fantasy
Tour Organized by: Indie Sage, LLC
Purchase Link:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dFwLvx
Nook: http://bit.ly/1aKUAvH
iTunes: http://bit.ly/1cH8BxC
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1cGy8no
 
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1gKtXfj
 
SYNOPSIS:
“My journey didn’t end with my entering this palace. I must own who I am, even if I must suffer through Lunule’s games… I cannot run away.”
 
 
Safe within Paz Etur’s palace, Raphere feels her luck about to change. After the hard-earned approval of the King’s Counselor, Raphere hopes the worst is over. Then she meets Prince Lunule. Opinionated, chauvinistic and more than a touch malicious,  Prince Lunule seems to enjoy making her life a constant hell.
Her missing mercenary, Rant Pae, cannot help her. She must find a way out of this situation on her own, before it becomes dangerous. Raphere is more than desperate to find the Jivan Tome now. She fears her life, her sanity, and her heart might depend on it.
*****
Two mortals hang in the balance. One covets the crown. The other left his family behind after a tragedy for which he is to blame. Both are irresistibly drawn to the Pikestan girl, Raphere, whose fierce heart imprisons them as they lay claim to her. Whether incited by love or power, the princes may find their reward at the sharp end of a sword.
 

About the Author:

A. H. De Carrasco embarked upon the writer’s journey at a young age, writing illustrated fan fiction for her grade school classmates’ favorite shows. Several decades later, she is publishing her collection of fantasy novels for teenagers and adults. Lately, she writes beside a waterfall as her husband tests his goggles and flippers. Her cats look on in displeasure from the screen door, but purr happily when she writes at her desk.
 


AUTHOR CONTACT INFO
 
Website: http://tellerofdestiny.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AHDeCarrasco?ref=br_tf
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6925921.A_H_De_Carrasco
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AHDeCarrasco

My Review:

Some background - "From Continue" starts when  Raphere is a little girl, but "Princes and Fools" Continue when she is about sixteen. Raphere live in a world that split to white and black souls, but none of its residents are a complete being.  Once upon a time it was perfect and balanced - and every body was grey. In a world of greys the magic was strong and balanced. Every body leave in harmony and there weren't any war, jealousy or evil. People were immortals, happy and live together in harmony.
During the split we got another race the mortals (humans). Unlike the immortals the human didn't remember their previous lives and therefor they couldn't learn from their mistakes. The immortals called them the forgetful or mutants, The blacks immortals, called the "Dark Lords", were evil, despise them and burn many of them in magic green fire turning them to ash. The white immortals ("White Wanderers") thought that they are their responsibility and tries to save them.
Both sides had them same goal - to bring back what was was - Grey. The problem that each of them had a different interpretation how to do it. The difference between the two cause suspicion and lead to war. Many white wanderers died while protecting the humans and only few left in the time of Raphere
The nature of the dark lords cause them to fight between themselves. One of them Jor Hale (the rebel) felt that the all thing is wrong and went against their leader Herisma (the destroier). He burnd him in the green fire and then commits suicide.
Raphere has spent her life trying to prove she is not like her mother (Verisma the dark sorcerer), the dark sorceress. And though she yearns to be, she is not a white wanderer either. Raphere is the Jivasivar, the first grey soul born into the land since sin and the Changing. Some call her savior; others, assassin. One thing is clear: everyone has a plan for Raphere. Few seem to care about what is best for her--only what she might gain or cost them.
She grew in a hut in Pikestan, where many come to warship her mother who neglected her in the best time and treat her harshly in other. told them her version of the Change in the "Telling". Raphere was also, the target of the  visitors  cruelty (most were evil themselves), but she learned to fend to herself in part and in other she were evade them and run to the forest. In the forest she had invisible friends who talk to her play and have taught her about her heritage. In the continue she found he identity and shelter.
Around age 16 she meet Rant Pae a mercenary, who looked so different from all the regular visitors. When things started to get worse, her invisible friends tell her she must go and find the white wanderer Tranquia and the Jivan Tome and be her student. Raphere convinced Rant Pae to accompany her to Tranquia in Paz ethur. On the way she discover that he is the prince of tween kingdom Paz ori, who decline his right to the crown from some reason that he didn't want to tell her. 
On the way she discover that she has feelings for Rant Pae. that she can communicate with wolvesand that  Rant Pae is a married man and his wife Tully is living in Heather pike. After a short stop in Heather pike, they had to cross the swamps which cover in thick veil. During the crossing she fell from the horse and lost Rant Pae and his company. Bravely Raphere cross it by herself.
In the second book she finally made it to the palace to train with the white wanderer. The plot pretty much focused on the royal court and all of the lords and ladies involved in it.
The king and most of the kingdom loved Raphere, but the oldest Prince has his reservations. He treats her very poorly in the beginning, but then he becomes almost obsessed with her even though he is betrothed to another. 
On one hand Prince Lunnule is spoiled brat, that used to get all what he wants. As such he used to look on his people down his nose. He is capricious, patientless, arrogant, but he also very intelligent, clever and handsome (young version of Rant Pae). Raphere has no romantic feelings towards him but he does confuse her.
His little brother Pappen is such a sweet person. 
Rant Pae. Even though he's mysteriously absent for the a good portion of the book, but  I still enjoyed his character, and in all honesty it'd be hard to pick out which one I like more. We also meet his sister Cymelya, another spoiled brat, who happen to be Lunnule's betrothed. She can't except Raphere and treat her as a filthy peasant. Lunnule obsession with Raphere, just doesn't help.
Raphere, is more daring and hot-headed and I was just so proud of her.  She's not selfish, she stands up for others, and doesn't back down. She succeed to put Lunnule more then one time, in his place, and teach him some compassion for others. She gain the trust and love of Tranquia  and learned from her as much as she can. In her effort to prove her difference from Verissa  she solve things with love and empathy. The relationship between her and Rant are sweet and full of respect.
I'm still trying to figure out why Raphere can't tell the white wanderer who she really is since it was the spirits from some other white wanderers who sent Raphere to the palace in the first place.And.....the 2nd book also, leave us with one heck of a cliffhanger! Good job DeCarrasco! because I am hooked! 

Excerpt One from Teller of Destiny, 

Book Two:Prince and Fools

 

…Knowing she was safe, Rant had moved on with his life. It was as Raphere had expected. And dreaded.
“I—” Her voice caught in her throat as a deep melancholy gripped her. “I wish to be alone now.”
“Of course.” The wanderer bowed slightly. The wax pebble disappeared beyond her sleeve.
“Thank you for such good news.” Raphere’s voice sounded dead, even to her.
Tranquia went to her bedside and lifted Raphere’s arm. The wanderer studied the slightly raised pink blemishes, the fading remnants of her trip through the Veil.
“Let’s start your lessons tomorrow.” She lowered Raphere’s arm to the bedcovers then kindly touch her cheek. “You are ready to begin your life here as my student.”
Raphere nodded, her cheek pressed against the cool skin of the wanderer’s palm. Tranquia’s hand felt so soft, as if the woman had not known toil or hardship, in this lifetime at least.
After the wanderer had left, Raphere exhaled not realizing until then how tense she’d been. She bent her knees and pressed her thighs to her torso. An oppressive heaviness filled her stomach and pulled her downward. She had felt so when Mune’s limbs reverted to lifeless branches. She pressed the curve of her palms into the hollow of her eyes to keep them from springing tears.
What had she expected? A goodbye? He had never promised more than this journey. Mission completed, the mercenary carried on with his life, expecting her to do the same—without him.
A sob formed like an egg in her throat, but she stubbornly resisted releasing it. It hovered low, cutting off her air, leaving her voiceless like the night they had first met.
Truly, it had meant little to him. Spring and their summer journey together played over in her mind. He had toyed with her affection when Verisa tired of him, he had distanced himself when Tully was near, he had spurned her outside the swamps, and he had even laughed when talking of their kisses. How could she have been so stupid?
Too powerful, the sob broke free and Raphere gasped. Rolling onto her stomach, she wiped her wet nose with the sleeve of her nightgown. No tears!
Resting her chin on her folded arms, she remembered when Rant had killed Hopf to protect her. Why? Maybe she would never know.
Such torments plagued her head. Raphere burrowed her nose into her pillow and growled in frustration, pressing her fists to her temples so tightly, she barely heard the scratching noises coming from the balcony outside. She tried to ignore the sound, but after a few moments it reoccurred, this time louder, and continued. Belatedly, she realized someone was climbing over her balcony.
Lifting onto her elbows she covered her mouth with her hands, stifling a happy squeak. Rant! He had come to see her!
She hopped out of bed. How could she have doubted him? Grinning she rushed to the doors and swung them open, only to find a boy with one foot over the railing. They both screamed. For a moment she saw his terrified expression before the boy toppled off the balcony. Tree branches broke his fall, and he landed on his rump in the leafy foliage below. He quickly jumped back to his feet and brushed himself off, twigs sticking every which way in his sandy-brown hair.
“Truly, I didn’t mean to alarm you,” he explained from the ground. “I just didn’t know you’d look so horrible.”
Raphere sucked in her breath as disappointment changed to outrage. Her brow furrowed deeply, dimpling her swollen face. “What did you say?” she demanded. And the brat repeated his words precisely.
“You—you nasty wretch!”
His jaw dropped open nearly to his knees. His hands lifted to his slight hips.
“I am not a wretch! I’m Papen, the king’s son.”
Raphere inched closer to the railing. He didn’t look like a prince. His clothes resembled a stable hand’s rags.
“And that gives you the right to joke about a woman’s misfortune?”
“No, but you’re not a woman. You’re too young, too lanky.” He smiled impishly. “You have lumps in the wrong places.”
Raphere slammed the balcony doors and sought her bed. She covered her head with a pillow to block out his protests outside. Desperately, she wished it had been Rant on her balcony. Such a foolish hope! She suffered alone; completely alone but for a silly, obnoxious stable boy caterwauling under her balcony.
His howling stopped only to be replaced by the sharp tap of stones thrown at the window. She jumped out of bed and yelled, “Enough! Go away!”
Finally, silence answered her. With a miserable sigh, she fell back upon her bed and stared at the canopy.
Rant wasn’t coming. He had left her to a new life. Was her purpose now to live in this palace and learn from a woman she didn’t trust? What had been a firm certitude a week ago, a force that resisted a powerful Dark Lord and pulled Raphere through the swamps to stand bitter and ragged before the court, suddenly crumbled like burnt bread.
She worried herself to sleep, pining for her mercenary prince who, she was most certain, didn’t give a damn about her anymore.


Excerpt Two from Teller of Destiny, Book Two: Princes and Fools

 
…Finally, Raphere met the Princes of Paz Etur. Here the family resemblance continued through Prince Lunule Faten Lau, the oldest son. He resembled a young Rant Pae.
Prince Lunule bestowed a curt nod. His cool hazel eyes lifted upward and away; he impatiently dismissed her as if she were some nuisance for which he had no time. His gaze rested upon his father, and a subtle scowl settled over his features. Raphere wondered if the tendency to brood ran thick within the veins of all Faxwood men.
The younger prince, however, smiled broadly. Recognizing him, Raphere winced. The very same boy who had fallen from her balcony stood proudly at the table!
“This is Prince Papen Esten Lau Faxwood,” Tranquia introduced.
“We’ve already met!” He winked a blue eye at her. She could only stare back.
“Oh, really?” exclaimed Queen Elesa.
“In passing, after her lesson,” Papen lied, his mischievous grin growing ever more amused.
If he hadn’t called her a lumpy girl earlier, she might have thanked him for avoiding an uncomfortable explanation. Fortunately, the conversation quieted and they began to eat.
Raphere stared at her plate. The food consisted of spinach salad with a creamy cold sauce; halibut soup with half mushrooms and carrots; and delicate, small rolls of bread topped with liver paste. Raphere had never seen such elegant food, which she openly admitted to them.
“This is just the first course, Raphere,” Papen teased.
“Counselor Tranquia tells me you hail from Heathers Point,” the King prompted the conversation.
“Yes, King. Near Heathers Point and Ables Way.”
“‘A long journey,” he mused.
“Yes. A long and dangerous one, through Sunder Veil.”
“Indeed!” Queen Elesa quickly hit her stepson’s hand away from his father’s plate. “Papen, mind yourself,” she scolded, then shifted her attention back to Raphere. “You traveled on foot, by yourself?”
“Barefoot, I’d imagine.” Prince Lunule’s tone was deceptively casual. He continued to speak, though he didn’t deign to look at her again. “Tell me, is it true you entered our palace on your naked feet?”
Raphere inwardly bristled. “Yes, Prince Lunule. The swamp ruined my shoes.”
He snorted. “I heard the servants had quite a time cleaning the rugs afterward.”
“I’m certain they did,” she responded sweetly, her lips twisting despite the barb. It was a funny joke, she conceded though she suspected he didn’t intend a kind jest.
Belatedly, Cymela laughed out loud and her copper curls bobbed about her head. Queen Tera gave her daughter a stern look. Hunching her shoulders, Cymela lowered her head over her plate as servants brought the second course. Plate after plate of fish lined the long table.
“Have you ever eaten salmon before, Raphere?” Papen asked.
She shook her head. “Never, Prince Papen. We have few lakes or large rivers nearby, you know.”
From the corner of her vision, she saw the princess straighten. Cymela’s dull gaze sparked to life before her eyes narrowed.
Raphere bit her lip. She had been talking about the Pikestan! Frantically, her mind reviewed their journey. She had seen no signs of lakes or rivers until they were upon the swamps. However, she never traveled north of Heathers Point. Cymela continued to study her, but it appeared no one else had found her remark odd.
“Salmon come from the sea into the River Gonne. The long voyage is worth the journey. Try some. They are delicious.” Papen encouraged.
The fish melted on Raphere’s tongue. Unfortunately, the young princess’s scrutiny and the older prince’s quips had stolen Raphere’s appetite. She took a few, quick tastes just to please Prince Papen. He grinned and nodded, hopefully satisfied she liked the stuff.
“So you went all the way without a horse?” Queen Elesa asked. “It seems impossible, and all by yourself. Weren’t you frightened?”
“Yes and no, Queen Elesa,” Raphere explained. “Yes, I was frightened and no, we didn’t go all the way on foot. We travelled most of the way on horseback. I had friends with me, but I lost them—and my shoes—in the Veil.” She gave Prince Lunule a pointed stare. His knife paused midway to his mouth.
“Ah, yes, my nephew was in your group.” The king’s voice was gentle, perhaps for the benefit of the Orian queen, but the corners of his mouth revealed a hint of displeasure. “Otti said he found your friend Jake bearing Papin Rantir’s emblem—quite a surprise to hear of his close proximity after all these years. I believe Rantir is fond of you, my dear.”
“My brother,” Princess Cymela interjected, “has a thing for strays.”
“As does his father,” Papen added.
At his words, Cymela fixed Papen a nasty glare.
The silence that followed grew long and awkward. Finally, the princess lifted her chin. Her dissecting gaze stabbed into Raphere as if to fix her in place—and quarter her.
She’s going to call me out. Inwardly, Raphere panicked as a predatory smile sliced Cymela’s hollow cheeks.
The princess leaned forward. “Let’s ask the stray—”
“I’m afraid my son,” Queen Tera smoothly interrupted, “would rather be an adventurer than a king.” Her countenance held nothing but tenderness as she spoke of Rant. “I am glad you met him. Please, tell me how he is. It has been so long since I saw him. I worry often about him.”
“Oh, he is fine! I am sure of it, Queen Tera.” Raphere leaned forward eagerly. “He was my protector.”
“Not a very good one.”
At Prince Lunule’s comment, a shadow passed over the Orian queen’s features. Raphere’s dislike for the prince grew.
“It’s my understanding he’s returned to Heathers Point. A pressing matter…”
“Thank you, dear child.” Queen Tera smiled even more warmly.
Prince Lunule cleared his throat. “How nice.” He turned to the King. “So tell me, Father, is this a special occasion, or will it become a common occurrence to have peasants sup with us?”
His question brought gasps from the Queens and a titter from Princess Cymela.
The King glared at his son. “Perhaps I would like to have peasants replace my court. They are more gracious and polite and have better manners than my own sons.”
Prince Papen sat up straight. “What did I do?”
“It’s all right, your Majesty. I am not offended,” Raphere said.
Prince Lunule finally acknowledged her with his full attention, but the look he cast her twisted her insides into a tight knot. “It is not your place to say what does or doesn’t offend you. And I hardly need a swamp girl apologizing for my behavior.”
His withering stare ate at her composure. Raphere’s hands began to shake. She kept them in her lap, away from sight.
“So, Lady Raphere,” he spoke the title lightly. “Are you, as my father has said, honored and grateful to be eating with royalty?”
“Of course, Prince. You’ve been indulgent, accepting my presence. I am amazed at how easily you’ve humbled yourself to talk with me, if only to remind all of my common birth.”
Lunule smiled smugly at Tranquia. “An ant.”
Raphere didn’t understand his meaning, but the wanderer visibly bristled.
“However,” Raphere continued, “I have eaten with princes before…” Her voice quavered. She lost her nerve to finish.
“Oh, have you?” Prince Lunule snorted. “And a little roll in the hay, too?”
Queen Elesa coughed upon her food. Tranquia spoke his name like a warning.
Anger flared in Raphere’s veins. Her blood boiled, but she tried to appear calm, as any white wanderer would act. “Are you questioning my virtue?”
“Virtue?” He laughed. “I didn’t know a peasant girl was allowed such a thing.”
“Perhaps because you know very little,” she whispered, then heard Princess Cymela’s sharp intake of breath.
But Prince Lunule seized the challenge. His eyes began to sparkle from her reaction.
“Enlighten me.”
Tranquia shook her head slightly at Raphere, warning her not to let this progress any further, but pride begged Raphere to proceed.
“If I may?”
“Go on, go on.” The King waved an approving hand.
She cleared her throat and focused unwaveringly on King Esten’s eldest. “I have met another prince in my lifetime, who acted as a common man, but one of great dignity, humility and kindness.”
Prince Lunule sucked his teeth as his eyes slinked away from hers.
“Yet, at this table, I see before me another prince who shames his father, the King, and his father’s guests. Indeed, I may be unworthy to dine at this fine table, but such a foolish prince should switch places with the jester below.” She pointed emphatically to the King of Fools who lounged upon the steps near the table.
As if called, the fool hopped up and began to strut about on his short legs, nose in the air, hand grasping and rubbing his codpiece, making a wonderful mimicry of the eldest prince.
The king’s shoulders shook as he watched the jester’s display. The fool suddenly leapt onto the table. Cymela shrieked.
He ran down the middle, kicking plates and tipping wine glasses over while he jabbed his finger at the nobles.
“Unworthy, unworthy! You too, unworthy!”
After he passed Tranquia, he jumped into the king’s lap.
“Father!” The fool opened his arms for a hug.
The King rose to his feet and cried, “Unworthy!”
The fool tumbled to the floor. The nobles on the dining hall’s upper level burst into laughter and applause.
“Well done, young maiden!” King Esten’s laughter boomed against the walls as several nearby guests lifted their glasses, their faces bright and red with mirth.
The jester left the King but tarried by Prince Lunule’s chair. With hands on hips and foot tapping, he waited to take the prince’s seat. Snickers flowed down various tables on the lower levels and more lords maneuvered their chairs to watch.
The prince glared at the jester until he fled. The light applause faded. “For a girl of the swamp, she has the tongue of a witch.” Prince Lunule turned toward Raphere. “And by your words spoken within my home, you’ve proven your ignorance concerning princes and honor.”
What did he mean by that? she wondered, stung and bewildered at the same time.
“But what she says is true, Lunule,” Prince Papen howled with glee.
The catastrophe left behind by the jester’s fast heels vanished as a flurry of servants cleared the table, preparing it for the next course. Queen Tera consoled her daughter who seemed near faint with upset. Raphere noted Tranquia’s steady regard. Her teacher was not amused either.
“Go back to your pastoral parents,” Lunule mumbled under his breath. Suddenly, his face lit up and he eyed her once more, his regard more malicious than before. “Tell me, Lady Raphere, do you have parents?”
Unprepared, Raphere winced, and his expression subtly changed to triumph. He had caught her. He knew it. Worse, she couldn’t lie. Raphere swallowed hard, sensing the defeat her words would seal. “I have a mother.”
Prince Lunule dropped his knife loudly upon his plate. He thrust his hand out toward King Esten. “My dear king and father,” his voice rose above the tables, “I do believe you have invited a bastard to dine with us.”
“That is enough!” Tranquia shouted. Cymela burst into tears.
His last arrow had found its mark, its sting, unexpectedly sharp. His intent all evening had been to shame Raphere, and he had ultimately succeeded.
Despite Raphere’s best effort to control it, her chin visibly trembled. True animosity quickly replaced her shame. She glared, but then noted the plate of steak being set down before him. Her lips twisted into a wicked smile as a terrible urge came over her.
“Make it green,” she whispered.
Prince Lunule stuck his knife into the most putrid steak imaginable. He cursed out loud in horror. Raphere quickly dispersed the illusion, but not before Prince Papen had seen the transformation.
“Great Fate! How on earth did you do that?” His expression became excited. “Please change something else, a saucer or a cup or—or Cymela’s hair!”
Through her tears, Princess Cymela whimpered in protest.
“Please, Raphere!” Prince Papen begged.
Raphere jumped to her feet, her chair clattering loudly to the floor. “I am not a performing monkey or—or jester to do tricks for your amusement!”
She suddenly realized she was shouting at the king’s table—at his very son! Her breath closed in her throat.
As her voice echoed above the shock-stricken court, Raphere knew Tranquia had been right. They may forget this night someday, but she would never forget—not even in a hundred lifetimes.
She fled the banquet hall.

 

BOOK 1:

From Continue

"I saw the dead king...burn," Raphere whispered to the voices. She lifted her chin. "Why would I see such a thing, if not to prevent it?"

"There are many kings in the land, and all kings die eventually. You are more important than any."


Did they think to keep her here, forever? In the Pikestan? But she was not safe. And she could do nothing for anyone. But as a wanderer... 
Ever since spilling her blood before the Teller of Destiny, Raphere has tried to prove she is not like her mother, a dark sorceress. Some call her Jivasivar--savior; others, assassin. One thing is clear: everyone has a plan for Raphere. Few seem to care about what is best for her, only what she might gain or cost them.

Even the handsome mercenary, who fascinates and frustrates her, has secret plans he doesn't wish to share. Ever watchful in the shadows, Rant Pae spies on her--probably for her mother, Verisa. Does Rant Pae wish to draw Raphere closer with his distance? If so, he is succeeding.

Searching for her purpose Raphere embarks upon a journey to find the white wanderer Tranquia and the Jivan Tome--the Divine Poem which promised Raphere's emergence, centuries ago. She must discern friend from foe as all strive to manipulate her for their own designs. Does she have the conviction to be the Jivasivar or is she merely a pawn in a fight for the survival of both ancients and kings?

 
Source: http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com/2014/02/princes-and-fools-by-ah-de-carrasco_11.html

Interview with Pierce Brown, author of Red Rising - January 27, 2014



Please welcome Pierce Brown to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Red Rising, Pierce's debut novel, will be on published on January 28, 2014 by Del Rey.



Interview:

TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Pierce:  It’s hard to say. I’ve always told stories. My parents have video of me hyperventilating during a story about a dragon finding a cave where the king of bats lived. I talked and talked and talked and then fell asleep sitting up.

I tell stories for the same reason I love cooking food for friends at my house. I want to share. I want to go on trips. I want to embark upon a pilgrimage together and then discuss the places we’ve been, the wonders we’ve seen, and the new things we now believe.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Pierce:  Pantser, through and through. I aspire to be a plotter, yet time and again I fail. I suppose in the end, I find pantsing, despite the daily horror of being lost and confused as to where the story is going, much more natural a writing style. Imagine there are ten great epiphanies that go into those days when you outline. That’s wonderful! Ten! But when I write with only a vague notion of the end, I can have an epiphany every day. That’s one of the most rewarding parts about being a writer.



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Pierce:  Deciding. Sometimes there are a thousand routes to take in the story and a hundred ways to present each route, and I have such indecision about which is the most meaningful, most impacting. I’m best when I write brashly, then come back with the spectacles on and say, “oh, well that’s just rubbish; we shall fix this, and this, and put this scene on a mountain top. But oh, however shall we get to the mountain top...”



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Pierce:  Gene Wolfe, a master of fantasy and prose. Neil Gaiman, one of the best mood/world builders I’ve ever read. JK Rowling, who taught me so many things. Robert Heinlein, the man who perfected science fiction as social commentary. Bernard Cornwell, my favorite writer of historical fiction. George R. R. Martin, the godfather of modern epic fantasy.



TQ:  Describe Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy 1) in 140 characters or less.

PierceRed Rising is the story of a young man’s journey to bring down the empire that kept his people in slavery and stole the woman he loved.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Red Rising? Why did you choose to write a Dystopian Adventure/Fantasy novel? Do you want to write in any other genres?

PierceRed Rising was inspired by my relationship with bullies when I was younger. I moved seven times with my parents, so I was always breaking into new schools with new bullies. Some used words, some used money, others fists.

Another inspiration was the play Antigone, in which a young woman sacrifices herself to reveal a corrupt law when she is forbidden from burying her dead brother.

I want to write a great many things. Some stories are buried in the back of my head. Others are out there waiting to be discovered. It’s a thrill not knowing when inspiration will next rear its strange head.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Red Rising?

Pierce:  Very little. Much of it was drawn from things I liked as a boy—Roman and Greek mythology, planets, space travel, etc. What I did research was gravitational fields, future technology, anthropological studies of immigrants and slave groups throughout history.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why? Who is your favorite good guy, bad guy or ethically ambiguous character?

Pierce:  Eo was the easiest because she was the point of the novel. In the end, Darrow has to go through trial and tribulation to understand what she knew at the very beginning—that there is more to life than what is given you.

I saw her so vividly in my head that I rarely found myself editing her lines or wondering if Eo would indeed say what I’d written. She really was a pleasure to write.



TQ:  Give us one of your favorite lines from Red Rising.

Pierce:  The very first: “I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.”



TQ:  What's next?

Pierce:  Book 2, which is nearing completion. Then Book 3. I think my editor would fly to LA and knock my door down if I said anything else!



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Pierce:  Absolutely my pleasure. I hope to be back next year for book 2.


Red Rising
Del Rey, January 28, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

Pierce Brown’s relentlessly entertaining debut channels the excitement of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”


Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.


My review

Read on July 19, 2013

It is so refreshing to find a classic Sci-Fi this days. I really want to leak my fingers because it also a very quality one. I liked the philosophy behind- Greece culture Vs. Roman culture (especially when Darrow answer to Cicero with Plato and the fact that they fight against the Olympus - oh! how much I enjoy this moment). In the book Mr. Brown question the idea of the "week" democratic society through replacing it with a very strict hierarchic society. He really make you go through many sociology science ideas.... and... in away one of the ideas inside do remind me GATTACA... read and understand.

He also made his hero (Darrow)going through hell and back, in a way that you can't be indifferent even for one sec.

Sevro is hands down my favorite in some weird way it remind me Yossarian from "Catch-22". In my eye he really represent the main idea of the book of things that don't look as they seem (same as his father).
Mustang is also awesome, and the smartest character in this book, and I think that putting her in Minerva (actually Athena)house fit her well.

Every thing happen on Mars - in allegory to house of Mars - god of war - but the true face of him actually belong to Ares (the less sophisticated Greece image of the god of war).... and those who will go and read the book will understand my statement.

The red people (the lowest in the food chain) live very short hard life (they married, get children and die early), but as compensation to this hardship they "believe" in the greater target of pioneers who will open the new frontier for the rest of humanity and they don't knew that this is a total lie as all their aspect of life controlled by the higher hierarchy from food to knowledge. They live simply and have their songs and dance to balance their dreary lives. From them grew the rebellion movement - Ares that will do everything to get out from this slavery.... And the Gold people..... is all the way on the opposite side of the scale.....Here I must stop because I am a strict believer that people should read and have their own impression and the feel of things.

All I can say that I am looking forward to anything that Pierce Brown is going to write and I really glade that he didn't study in Hogwart...and wonder which state he spent his life has he using the metric system which I understand better.
About Pierce

Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for his cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate Campaign.


Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter  @Pierce_Brown  ~  Goodreads  ~  Instagram
Source: http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com/2014/02/interview-with-pierce-brown-author-of.html

Gated by Amy Christine Parker Review

 
Full review on - http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com/201...

The novel started dreamily and slowly and Parker took her time to create the most vivid characters. Gated" was probably the first YA novel I've read that tackled the issue of cults in such a complex, illuminating and enthralling story. One does not read a book about cults expecting to be merely entertained. The psychology behind the evolution of a cult, why people follow this kind of leader, the process of decision making, giving up about the individual, social pressure and influence....etc. This get stronger from page 222 as the pre-chapters quotes change from Pioneer's to quotes from Jim Jones, Charles Manson and David Koresh. This novel crosses the 3 infamous cults to create a story that, though slow to start, increasingly becomes more intense as the story unfolds. There have been fanatics like Jim Jones or Marshall Applewhite (of Heaven’s Gate) who convince members of an approaching apocalypse resulting in the mass suicide of the membership. Some like David Koresh armed his members and all his followers died in a conflagration when the FBI tried to break up the compound. Other extremist leaders have advocated murder (Charles Manson) or marriage of underage girls to older men like the community lead by Warren Jeffs. Pioneer is a compilation of many of these extremist leaders.

The story is told through the17-year old Lyla's eyes .We gradually find out about her past, and how the community came to be formed after 9/11, based on fear as utterly effective tool. After her sister got kidnapped when Lyla was only 5, her mother became withdrawn, emotionally crippled by this emptiness which made her vulnerability made her the perfect target for Pioneer. The story start from their living in Mandrodage Meadows (an anagram for Armageddon Meadows), headed by Pioneer, which nobody remember his real name anymore. There are what we would call a "doomsday cult." (here the pre-chapters quotes from the bible strengthened this feeling) It is a small community of around 20 families all working together for financially support. Most of there food is self supplied and all things which brought from the outside world personally selected by Pioneer. No one has access to news or the latest movies and they gets from time to time on the main TV after careful filtration. No one talks to outsiders, no one watches the news; they have complete faith in their charismatic leader's words. Mostly, they spend their days at shooting practice or getting their underground Silo ready with enough supplies for this impending doom.

When we're introduced to Lyla, she's now a teenager in the midst of getting ready for the end of the world, which is only a few weeks away - as per Pioneer's vision from above. They had been told that they are the lucky ones, they are the chosen; they will be saved by the Brethren, like the animals on Noah's Ark, when the end of the world comes. And it is coming very, very soon. It was fascinating how he used to inveigle control over a person's mind, to win their trust, to ultimately bending their will to his. He manipulates the media to his advantage, he censors everything; music, books, nothing is allowed to be seen or viewed without his prior approval, and he uses that to devastating effect. The Indian Ocean tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011...everything is molded by Pioneer to serve as further proof that the world is ending soon.

There aren't any small children in the community and every girl had intended which carefully chosen for her by pioneer. Lyla is promised to Will, her childhood best friend, whom she adores in an attached, brotherly manner. For her, Will is like a beautiful painting that never lights a spark of inspiration within her. Lyla is more interested in Cody a boy that she had been told to introduce to the settlement. Cody's attraction to Lyla is more of an interest than just love at first sight because she is so different from the girls he used to know.

Lyla's a is smart girl. She is the only one to question their situation. In this she anger every body else. She is also questioning the Brethren or who they believe are their creators and if the world is about to end, and why they only a selected so few (The Chosen, why so few will enter to the Silo - an underground shelter and will be the only ones to survive). She might be reluctant to shoot a gun, fall behind her peers in doing her share to contribute to the group, and be "tempted" more often times than not by factors of the outside world. In and above it all, she's a good person, and loyal to her family and friends. But the closer the days get to the proposed "end of the world" and the more she sees the darker side of Pioneer in his affirmations and punishments, Lyla's not so certain of anything. Her friends Will, Brian and Marie all really buy into it, and Lyla tries to because she really cares for them, and it is obvious they care about her, they just don't understand her hesitations. Meeting Cody somewhat compounds on Lyla realizing that the world around her, as framed by Pioneer, isn't everything it seems.

From this point things start to accelerate....

I most recommend the book . It is something totally different and it is very impotent to readers as from two main reasons - First it can help them to recognize "cult traps" and second about the significance of healthy doubt, not afraid to ask question, even though you will look "weird" to others.

 

 

 

 

 

The Charge by Sharon Bayliss Review

 

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--DywlmaIXpE/Ur6medDZThI/AAAAAAAAEWc/eN1wb4J1MFQ/s320/17239442.jpg

Summery:

When the King of the Texas Empire kidnaps Warren's brother, Warren embarks into a still Wild West to save him. On his journey, he makes a discovery that changes his life forever—he and his brother are long-lost members of the Texas royal family and the King wants them both dead. He gets help from an activist Texan named Lena, who's itching to take on the King and happens to be a beautiful firecracker Warren can't stay away from. Convincing her he's not one of the bad guys becomes harder when a mysterious energy stirs in his body, turning his brain into a hive of emotions and memories—not all his own. A legacy of violence is not all he inherited from the brutal Kings of Texas. The myth that the royal family possesses supernatural powers may not be myth at all.

My review:

5 of 5 stars

Read from March 15 to April 02, 2013

 

An alternate history of the U.S. and Texas with a few characters that have paranormal elements because of their blood. In this book, Texas and the U.S. don't like each other. The U.S. bombed Texas to kill off its ruthless King and all others that share his blood...but after almost 2 decades, a new King materializes and rumors of war begin to escalate. Will another ruthless dictator take over Texas, or will the Wild West finally take steps towards democracy?

There is a legacy of violence from the brutal Kings of Texas.

There is also a myth that the royal family possesses supernatural powers may not be myth at all.With the sizzling blue blood of the Texas dynasty, there is a lot at stake, and a lot of people who will do anything--including murder--to stack the cards one way or the other in this political maelstrom.

Warren returns from college because the King of Texas has kidnapped Isaac, his quirky genius brother. When Warren King’s brother is kidnapped, he learns that he’s a descendent of the Texan royal family, and that puts his life in danger. Warren disregards his Mom's suggestion to run off to Canada for safety and heads into Texas to look for answers. He's always been the one to take care of their family..

On his journey, he makes a discovery that changes his life forever.Everything he knew was based on lies and he's role in current events may be much more than anything he ever dreamed for himself. All Warren wanted was to have a normal life- to go to college, date, find someone to love, get married, land a good job and live with his family. Just a normal, boring life with no major complications. But this dream not valid anymore - he and his brother are long-lost members of the Texas royal family and the King wants them both dead.

 

Then along comes Lena, a Texan activist itching to take on the King and a beautiful firecracker Warren can't stay away from. Convincing her he's not one of the bad guys becomes harder when a mysterious energy stirs in his body, turning his brain into a hive of emotions and memories—not all his own.

 

 

Gone are the days when choosing a major was a big deal. Now Warren must save his brother and choose whether or not to be King, follow a King, or die before he can retire his fake ID.

The Charge, just like the lightening on the front cover, this book runs its course with a unrelenting fury until it reaches the final destination. I has a very well developed cast, a large talent for the written word, and a great flair of speculative fiction. It was very enjoyable and refreshing book, which kept me engaged at every turn.(I Read this book in two days). This book is fast paced, with lots of mystery and suspense, surprising turnings and sizzling energy. I found the alternate tweaked history setting intriguing. It is an impressive tale of a Texas Empire against the United States. There’s along-standing hostility between Texas and the United States, always strained and never predictable. Add to it a rumored supernatural powers passed down through the Kings of Texas and you got fire lights. The characters, all complicated and busy with their own agendas, are connected in ways they can’t understand, and they each have a much larger role to play. Every character has a flaw or two, and many make you wonder wtf going on? I also enjoy this kind of fiction that use science and especially biology which use ideas of genetics.

I am sure looking forward to the next book! I'm told that it's in the works as we speak. A well done debut, Sharon Bayliss! I enjoyed reading this story and I'll be in line for the next. 

So hurry up what you R waiting for???

 

Full review - http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-charge-by-sharon-bayliss-review.html

 

A Cure to Die For: A Medical Thriller by Stephen G. Mitchell

My review:

It was action-packed  -  definitely what you could call a page turner! The synopsis hooks you immediately and the plot isn’t entirely obvious. Unfortunately, I think that this kind of story could actually happen in the USA  - a company more focused on profits than anything else, corrupt Senators taking huge "bribes" from lobbyists, etc.

The plot - Maury a brilliant, botanist which try to find a cure to the flue for a pharmaceutical company, accidentally discover the ultimate cure. By genetically engineering marijuana and the poisonous Death Star plant.  

In order to be cured -  you dry the leaves then boil them in water (like tea), But in order to remain cured, you have to keep drinking the tea forever. The company sponsoring Maury's work,is  Rxon. The pharmaceutical company that funded the research seeing losing huge amount of profits, as people will stop to consume the regular drugs and other medical services,  will stops at nothing to eliminate the miracle cure, (including murder). As a sponsors of politicians the companies, will recruit an evil senator and mercenary thugs to get rid from all the proofs.

Here I  started to see the holes in the plot-  if Cannastar is able to cure everything why would you have to continue to take it for the rest of your life? and why would Rxcon did not realize that they could still make tons of money if people have to consume it all the time? 

Alex Farmer, an ER doctor and veteran, got a strange letter from his friend Maury and was on way to visit him. When he arrives he finds that Maury has been killed. and that Maury and his graduate assistant Cyd have genetically engineered a plant, called Cannastar, that can cure anything. Otis is the one who helped them to grow it as he has a real talent for gardening. The ironic is that Otis grew the "Canastar" in his Funeral home.

From the moment of the arrival of Alex, the action pickup its pace, and our characters -  Cyd, Otis, and Alex continuously find themselves in arduous, situations, only to escape at the last moment.

The other flaw in the plot arethe female characters:

Cyd  has a habit of flying off the handle without warning and is in Alex's face. While Cyd is perfectly okay with being addicted to Cannastar-  it really is basically an addiction if you have to keep taking it to keep pain/disease at bay. Yet Cyd completely flips out on Alex when he takes a pain pill. Okay, her mom ODed – but I couldn’t even feel bad for Cyd because that seemed to have just been thrown in there isn't much difference between the  Cannastar and the pain pills. Beside she could shown some empathy to his sever back pain, as she saw that he couldn't walk straight.

Betty,  alternates from being a tough, riding & roping-type gal to emotionally weepy.    People abuse them and suffer the consequences. Can one OD on Cannastar? How much is too much? As with anything, there would be a limit to how much Cannaster the human body would be able to handle. What would happen when this limit is reached?Cyd decided she needed a vacation and that’s when the trouble started.” I feel like it was an attempt at a cliff-hanger

Alex wife - His marriage break-up really came off as extremely pathetic, childlike and amusing in how his wife behaved.

The female that I could like was Eloise. I could understand her motives and beside this, the secondary love story of her and Otis and was really touching.

The Cannastar seeds: Rainbow color, precious and must be protected at all costs. Obviously, when you have bags of the stuff, you keep all the bags together so that if someone finds one they find them all. Anyone else see a problem with this? The whole time they just blundered through and they never seemed to learn that there's no such thing as being too cautious . The other problem is -  Interspecific hybrids (two species), are normally from within the same genus and the offsprings will display traits and characteristics of both parents. But often this offspring themselves will be sterile. This hybrid sterility prevents the movement of genes from one species to the other, keeping both species distinct. Sterility is often attributed to the different number of chromosomes the two species have.

The author got here an internal joke - one of the Cannabises strain is called-  Death Star ;) - and here is one of the description that I found-

Death-Star' was originally bred around 2001-2002, by 'Team Death Star' who started revealing it to more elite growers in 2004 and enjoyed much attention from smokers throughout the American-Midwest and along the East Coast. It gained and attracted a lot of attention in 2010 when High Times wrote an article about the tightly-held strain.

Genetics: Sensi Star x Sour Diesel
Type: Indica/sativa hybrid
Looks: This bud is gorgeous..with dark and vibrant lite greens..and covered in stacked trichomes..it looks amazing when she glistens..and dark vibrant orange hairs make this a truly beautiful strain.
Smell:Wow…this is a stinky strain.this had a very pungent sweet skunky fragrance mixed with fuel that you can smell from miles away..there no sneaking around with this stinky girl.

 or  the aroma was very pungent, both pre and post-grind.  The sour fuel stank carried notes of rubber, menthol, and lemon but also had a strange sweetness lingering in the background.  The combination of those smells made this one really noteworthy and impressive to our staff — great choice for Diesel-lovers.

Taste:Has a brilliant flavor..its very sweet skunky on the inhale and this carries over with a fuel flavor in the back of you mouth on the exhale..so amazing its hard to put down.

or Very much like the smell, the taste was a slight sweet Diesel-dominant flavor with hints of citrus and soil.  The sweetness was elusive and seemed to come and go, but when the whole package was present, it was top-notch.  The smoke was smooth and easy to consume, only getting a little rough at the very end – the near-white ash it left behind showed that it had a very good flush

Effects:2-3 hours - building pressure in the eyes and around the back of the head and temples started things off, with an increase in heart rate and some perspiration happening at times.  The body started buzzing early on and that kept up throughout the experience, though it turned to more of a warming feeling as it went on.  The Indica side of this cross showed up almost out of nowhere, with a couchlocked yet mentally clear and social effect coupled with the warm and relaxed body.  This one seemed to depend on mood and time of day a bit, as a  large dosage in the evening sent one reviewer to bed unexpectedly, but most daytime reviews were very relaxed but not narcotic or sleep-inducing.
Potency:9.5/10

Good Strain For: This one was great for a daytime smoke for me..also helped with anxiety, appetite, nausea, relaxing, pain relief…great medicine..and a fist with this strain..but not my last. 'It is trademarked for it's 'hashy' Sour Diesel taste and it's compact growth structure influenced by the Sensi Star father, that made it very popular for Midwest growers. It produces rock-hard buds that are covered in trichromes to the point that the final cured buds appear to be an almost gray color, often times with light purple streaks when temps are dropped. It's high is both mind-numbing Sour Diesel twist and narcotic body effects from the Sensi Star. It has the ability to still be an all-day smoke for high tolerance smokers and a knockout for those with lower tolerance.

20.23% THC/ 0.43% CBD/ 0.63% CBN

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IDschkZRC2o/UraMySMNERI/AAAAAAAADvA/AqgaZBuScng/s200/Echium_Starburst1.jpg

The other suitable candidate is - Echium candicans 'Starburst'- Large stalks of small clear blue flowers bloom in the spring and into the summer. This is a good plant for seaside gardens. Plant in full sun.

It is drought tolerant and often seeds itself out. Hardy to about 25 degrees F. This plant is a spontaneous mutation that burst forth at San Marcos Growers from Echium 'Star of Madeira', a plant introduced by Paintbox Plantsman.. It appears similar to another sport from 'Star of Madeira' that was named 'Death Star'. The genus name is from an ancient Greek word for the plant. It is derived from 'echion' with the root word 'echis' meaning "viper" but the reason for this has several interpretations. Included among these are the shape of the seed resembling that of a viper's head and from the age-old belief that Echium vulgare, a plant called Viper's Bugloss, was a remedy for the adder's bite. 

Medical treatment of cannabis -Research shows that marijuana may relieve symptoms of certain chronic illnesses. It is most commonly used to (1) combat nausea from chemotherapy; (2) to lower eye pressure in patients with glaucoma; (3) to treat AIDS-related wasting syndrome in order to stimulate appetite; (4) and to a lesser degree to combat pain and muscle spasms in patients with diseases such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and Huntingtonís disease. It is also used to treat patients with HIV, migraines, seizures, insomnia, depression, anorexia nervosa, arthritis, asthma, etc.It has been proven to treat nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite, and it may also ease pain. http://www.letfreedomgrow.com/cmu/

The solution :

The cartel of organized crime in Mexico and in the USA. Apparently Alex Farmer and Maury Bernstein had another friend - Joe Angolia. All of them grew up together and cherished a deep friendship since their childhood in New Jersey. Maury was the scientific nerd, Alex a wanderer until he turned to medicine, and Joe was the most intelligent one who found shady ways of making a fortune in a hedge fund career . When Joe heard about the Cannistar, he already suffer from Terminal illness and this hybrid was his last chance. For the other criminals the Cannastar supply Redemption. Once in their life they could bring salvation to people instead of distraction.

 

 

Source: http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com/2013/12/a-cure-to-die-for-medical-thriller-by.html

Copied by S.M. Anderson

My review:

It amazing that I have to write review on 2 books at the same time that deal in the subject of genetics. This one - Copied that deal with human genetics and the other one "A cure to die for" which deal with plant genetics. Both of them also deal with heavy ethical issues. In both of them I intend to divide my review to 2 - one part which will deal with the plot and the other with some technical subjects ( I can't prevent this Biology is in my blood).

 For the plot of Copied - The book is a fast reading it is really enchanting and I couldn't stop reading it. The story makes you think a lot  about the ethics of cloning and gratitude for individualism. It is presented in the voice of two main characters - Xan (Alexander Mitchell) and Betha - 23 . While Xan raised with a normal family Betha is a Texacomdefense's company property;

Betha-23 was raised with other many clones like him from the same DNA template from one donor (this donor isn't alive anymore) in artificial womb.All the clones get the same treatment from their first day as embryo till the day they will sent so the recycling tank. As a company property they are not allowed to independent thought, they have to obey to their superior without any questions, some of them trained to be a perfect war machines, some will sent to study.Their life span program short from the beginning and to extend it they have to get a treatment of enzyme that will prevent the quick process of aging (In a way it ensure the dependency of the clones in the company, and their returned). In his training wasn't any place for emotions , farther then emotions and empathy considered as weakness. They had to analyzed, coldly, the situations and seek the most efficient benefits out of them.... This time Betha mission was to get rid from Xan. He orchestrate a very complex situation with burning of a building in this situation Xan had to die and also Miels his best friend which wasn't in the right place and the right time. To his advantage he use his face which were identical to Xan to lead the blame on Xan head (and now you already understand that Betha and Xan share the same DNA).

Xan (Alexander Mitchell) -  after this "accident" everybody, include Xan parents and his best friend Miles and his  girlfriend Malinda were sure that Xan is guilty. Till this moment Xan didn't now about cloning and the other clones which has identical DNA to his. He also puzzled about his mysterious rescuer, who saved him from the fire.  Xan was desperate and the only friend face was belong to Lacy (which considered as a genius nerd and never went around Xan's fellows). Lacy came with friend of her own - Jamal and Allen very smart and brilliant - Jamal has a very successful blog about conspiracy theories and he will be the one of these two who will help the most.

Meanwhile Betha put a surveillance at Xan and Lacy's home and could follow each move of them. When he in his calculation he reached to conclusion that Lacy is a  big risk factor he put a sophisticated bomb under the sink in her privet lab at home. It was a sheer luck that she found it with one of her old nanny camera's. Xan was amazed to find a similar face on the assassin. At the same time he discovered that he was adopted by his parents. He wanted to know about his real parent and after many inquiries , his father admitted that they know nothing about them.

Xan sent to himself a message to meet with  Betha knowing that Betha will track it. Lacy followed him and together they caught him, because alone he didn't has a chance against his trained clone. Now they both hoped to get some information.

Love and relationship -  Xan find himself feeling toward Lacy. His girlfriend, Malinda, didn't lose hope that they will return to each other. His relationship with his Best friend Miles reached to an end. Xan shaw to his adopted parents that he still love and care for them and vica versa. Betha surprised to find a soft emoticons toward Lacy. But Lacy don't know which she prefer more Betha or Xan. The staying so long out side the company compound cause a big change in Betha toward what it is important.

I can't say more without taking the reader trill of finding thing all by himself so now I'll pass to the second part of my review.

In terms of a relationship between cloning and genetic engineering, there is obvious overlap between the two fields- Specifically, in relation to human germ line genetic modification, cloning provides a powerful set of tools that, if certain technical improvements are forthcoming, could enable gene targeting [that disrupts or mutates a gene sequence]. A second breakthrough has been the ability to make artificial eggs or sperm from stem cells, either embryonic or adult stem cells that can develop into different cell types in the human body. The third breakthrough involves "designer" recombinant molecules that have the ability to break apart and reassemble DNA strands. Each technology could eventually help scientists make genetic modifications to a living organism's genome.

The cloning ideaor why clone human embryos at all?
 The answer is stem cells. Stem cells are primitive, unspecialized cells.  Scientists classify the natural stem cells in mammals into two broad categories: adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells are found in various tissues and replenish the cells found in those specific tissues, such as skin or blood. Embryonic stem cells are from the embryonic stage of development, and can differentiate into all the varied cells found in a complex organism, from the brain down to the toes. A 5-day-old human embryo, called a blastocyst, contains an inner cell mass composed of about 12 embryonic stem cells. Doctors have hoped to use embryonic stem cells to essentially repair damaged tissue - injecting them into a spinal cord, for example, to grow new nerve cells after paralysis.  This talent that could make them the stars of regenerative medicine, the goal of which is to grow fresh cells and tissues from patients suffering from various diseases. Most of the scientist will say: "We think that it is wrong to attack some innocent human lives here and now to help others down the road,"(which is one of the subjects that Copied is dealing with). Fortunately, the great advances we are seeing in the use of adult and iPS stem cells provide promising alternative ways to heal illnesses without raising people’s temptations to engage in such attacks" - Based on this I was sundries to find the idea of recycling tank at the story, knowing that there is no need to all body to replace an organ. Also on based that even attaching the person organ itself is still problematic and given to a very narrow time window .

The cloning procedure works by combining a patient's body cell with an unfertilized egg cell from a donor. Since the 1950s when researchers cloned a frog, scientists have cloned dozens of animal species, including mice, cats, sheep, pigs and cows. When  it published that researchers have used cloning to make human embryos for the purpose of producing stem cells may have some people wondering if it would ever be possible to clone a person. Although it would be unethical, experts say it is likely biologically possible to clone a human being. But even putting ethics aside, the sheer amount of resources needed to do it is a significant barrier. Also, in each case, researchers encountered problems that were needed to be overcome with trial and error.

With mice, researchers were able to use thousands of eggs, and conduct many experiments, to work out these problems. But with primates, eggs are a very precious resource, and it is not easy to acquire them to conduct experiments. For instance, cloning an animal requires that researchers first remove the nucleus of an egg cell. When researchers do this, they also remove proteins that are essential to help cells divide. What's more, cloned animals often have different kinds of genetic abnormalities that can prevent embryo implantation in a uterus, or cause the fetus to spontaneously abort, or the animal to die shortly after birth. These abnormalities are common because cloned embryos have just one parent rather than two, which means that a molecular process known as "imprinting" (Differentiation of cells to target tissues) the  does not occur properly in cloned embryos.

Growing in artificial wombs -  The idea of genetically modified humans living healthier lives may not appease those who fear the "Cloud Atlas" vision of mass-manufactured clone workers. Luckily for them, the science fiction idea of growing humans in artificial wombs may take far longer to realize than human genetic modification. One of the biggest challenges comes from recreating the placenta that helps transmit nutrients and oxygen from the mother to the growing human fetus.

 As for genetic Enhancement: In the story we meet Lacy - she is very very smart actually she is genius. Her father is rich nan who work in analyzing economic opportunities for pharmaceutical company. In the story we had been told that her cleverness is a result of "gentle intervention" in her genes. The only problem is that genius is a result of many many genes that of them contribute in its own way to this ability. I just can't see hoe it was a "gentle intervention". The other problem is how to direct the intervention to the right places. If her indeed came from her parents it was enough that she inherit her cleverness from at list one parent.

Lacy's mother has a sever Muscular dystrophy . Muscular dystrophy -  characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and the death of muscle cells and tissue.  There are more than 30 types of MD.  Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies, being caused by a mutation of a gene located on the X chromosome, predominantly affect males, although females can sometimes have severe symptoms as well. Most types of MD are multi-system disorders with manifestations in body systems including the heart, gastrointestinal system, nervous system, endocrine glands, eyes and brain. Antisense therapy is a form of treatment for genetic disorders or infections. When the genetic sequence of a particular gene is known to be causative of a particular disease, it is possible to synthesize a strand of nucleic acid (DNA, RNA or a chemical analogue) that will bind to the messenger RNA (mRNA) produced by that gene and inactivate it, effectively turning that gene "off". Alternatively, the strand might be targeted to bind a splicing site on pre-mRNA and modify the exon content of an mRNA.

According the story Lacy don't have the disease and don't even carry it. also according to the story her father is a carrier. So how come? One possibility is that she is not her parents daughter at list not her mother which carry two defected genes. But if her father is a carrier she had at list to carry his mutation on her chromosome X. There is  other possibility is that somehow somebody fixed the mutation in the her embryo cells. To this day it is very hard to direct the right "fixing" to it's place on the DNA strand.

 

OK enough with technical things  - the bottom line is that the story stand for itself it very fast going and very interesting and I recommend it with all my heart !!!

 

Source: http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com/2013/12/copied-by-s.html

The Mephisto Mark (The Mephisto Covenant #3) by Trinity Faegen

Raised by abusive relatives in Bucharest, Mariah learned to box up agonizing memories and put them in permanent mental storage. Now almost nineteen, she’s steadily overcoming her past, but when an enigmatic stranger walks into the pub where she works and the trajectory of her life changes yet again, she begins to wonder if she’ll run out of mental shelf space.

The only females unafraid of the Mephisto brothers are the extremely rare Anabo, born without Original Sin. Over one hundred years ago, Phoenix’s Anabo was murdered by his oldest brother and enemy, Eryx. Wrapped up in grief and guilt, Phoenix’s only outlet is planning takedowns of those who pledged their souls to Eryx. When Mariah is brought to Mephisto Mountain, he’s torn between his instinctive, powerful need to pursue her, and his certainty that he can never have her.

Drawn into the world of the Mephisto, Mariah’s mental boxes begin to fly open, and all that keeps her from slipping off the edge is her unlikely, sexually charged friendship with Phoenix. He’s incredibly screwed up; she’s completely broken. It would take a miracle for them to find happiness. Then Eryx brings the war for Hell to a whole new level, forcing Mariah and Phoenix to make a choice that will bind them together for all eternity, or rip them apart forever.

Only You was previously published as The Mephisto Mark by Trinity Faegen. This title is New Adult with graphic language and sexual situations, as well as references to past child abuse and sexual assault.

 

My Review

I haven’t read the others in this series, but I was sucked into the book from the 1st sentence. Mephisto brothers are the sons of Mephistopheles who is known in German folklore as a demon or the devil. In this series their father is the gatekeeper of Hell. The only way for the Mephisto brothers to enter Heaven and be redeemed is if they find their one true love, and actually fall in love with her. Trinity is picking off Mephisto brother after brother in each book, writing about how they find their one true love (Anabo). I loved the originality in this book, nearly as much as I loved the characters- From the way she portrayed Lucifer (very, very interesting). He’s not viewed as even a necessary evil – only necessary evil, for the sack of balance and the benefit of free will. Eryx In this story is the real evil, hoping to wrest control of Hell away from Lucifer in order to take that freedom away- but also, there is speck of light also to his character - his sacrifice for his siblings, his loneliness and his feeling to Jordan.

Feagan does a remarkable job exploring the mind of a broken person. It deals with such a hard subject, the mental and sexual abuse of a child, but was handled in a way that didn't demean the lead character, Mariah. She was such a broken soul so it was nice to see that it didn't diminish her strong personality - She has a lot of strength and she's kind, compassionate. Mariah orphaned at six and sent to live with abusive relatives in Bucharest, Mariah learned early in life to box up violent, agonizing memories and put them in permanent mental storage. I liked that she wasn't "fixed" and the horrible things that happened to her weren't glossed over because the things that happened to her made her into the person Phoenix fell for and would've made light of the abuse. Also, mixing this shattered girl with the tormented soul, Phoenix, created a story that will have you so captivated you won't be able to put the book down. It's a beautiful story of how two totally damaged people may be able to heal each other if they can open themselves back up after being emotionally shut down for so long. Both characters are fighting their own demons both figuratively and literally and invoked every emotion possible from heartbreak to anger.



The writing is smart and easy. All the elements of the story came together in a wonderful, heart-tugging way – the flow, pacing, characters, and the paranormal aspect. Feagan dissolves you into a world that you can almost reach out and touch. I didn't even notice that this book was apart of a series The Mephisto Covenant series This book is the third book. I think its safe to assume that the book are stand alone since I've read this book and felt that there was nothing missing. With how this book came out I'll be sure to check out the other books to this series.

In Short - I really recommend this book!

 

Tangled Tides (The Sea Monster Memoirs #1) by Karen Amanda Hooper

 

 

Yara Jones doesn't believe in sea monsters--until she becomes one.

When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious.

Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people--until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process--or she might open the gateway to a love that's deeper than the oceans.

My oppinion:


Guess what attracted me to this book? Of course it’s the amazing cover!

I like how the world of the merpeople and sirens is displayed. It feels and looks so beautiful. It was so easy for me to close my eyes and imagine how it would look like, although in my mind there were always lots and lots of sun-rays. Sirens, gorgons, and selkies (even a water sprite or two),all make an appearance, and the mythical world that Hooper creates for them is well-detailed and breathtaking. Another thing I loved was the elements of Greek mythology that were present. These elements give background to the merfolk and sea creatures, explaining how they came into being. This book is rich, refreshing, and a much-needed break from all the vampires, werewolves, and fallen angels.

Karen did such an incredible job setting up this fantastical world that involve mermaid's smoking C-weed and half man/half seal's who drink blood. You also come across the myth of Medusa, in a whole new way and it gives a total different picture of her. A picture in which she’s someone who would die for her love, instead of the monster who would turn everyone into stone with her eyes.
I enjoyed many other characters - such as Rowan, Delmar, Pango, and Koraline. Pango and Merrick are hilarious together, especially Pango. He's the funniest character and I enjoyed every scene he was in. I especially liked how the narration switches between Yara, Treygan, and Rowan because it helped understand each character's motives more clearly.


I have to say I was a little surprised by her reaction to becoming a mermaid. She was angry, yes, but what about the freak out?? If you just got turned into a mermaid, you are entitled to freak out a little!) this bring me to the subjects that didn't make sense and this bother me a little:
1. Why walk on two legs all of the time if you’re supposed to live in water?
2. How exactly did seagarettes and c-weed (drug references that I did not miss and did not keep the selkies and merpeople alive?
3. How can Yara see underwater, human eyes aren’t designed to see clearly underwater?
4. How did the merpeople change colors?
5. What would be the point of building an entire mertown on dry land?
6. Yara's mind set or her way of thinking didn't make sense to me - why ask stupid questions, and then run away
7. Why the selkies had to drink blood?

I absolutely adored the entire cast of TANGLED TIDES, and I think any YA fan would too.