Stenibelle (League of Elder) – Blog Tour Post

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The Author, Mr. Ren Garcia:

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Title: Stenibelle (League of Shadows)

Author: Ren Garcia

Type: Action, Adventure, Sci-fi, Steampunk

Rating: 4 stars

Blurb:

THE 3rd TURN OF THE SHADOW TECH GODDESS The quest of Paymaster Stenstrom spans the planes, taking a bizarre turn in the 3rd universe, as there he is not an affluent man but a woman in desperate circumstances. Lady Stenibelle is imprisoned for her role in the Seeker Affair, is penniless, and her House of Belmont-South Tyrol is on the verge of extinction. Her spirit broken, Stenibelle is resigned to perform her sentence without fuss, do as she is told, and fade away in obscurity. However, fate is not yet finished with her. Stenibelle is in the gaze of hidden benefactors with ulterior motives. People claiming to be her dear friends come forward, yet she does not know them. The Quests of the Shadow tech Goddess proceed, and she must discover the hero that lies within or face total oblivion. The disgraced 30th daughter of the House of Belmont will either be the final stake driven into its dying heart, or the ray of light that comes to save it and all else that follows.

This book was not what I expected! I’ve read a lot of books in this particular genre, and somehow those books always had the same factors embedded in them. This book…it was certainly not slow-paced, it was certainly not typical steampunk/sci-fi fiction, it was CERTAINLY not unoriginal. The author did a very good job portraying the main characters, the technology, and the plot line.

First and foremost, what I really liked about this novel were the various types of steampunk technology. Of course, all of the technologies had interesting names, like bolabungs, or VUNKULA (yes, it’s supposed to be capitalized 🙂 ). These made reading about them a little bit stressful at first because the names do not give a glimpse on what these technologies really are. I mean, bolabungs? It made me think of baubles, and those glass balls hanging from ropes for decoration in people’s houses. However, when the author explains to you in vivid detail on what they really are, you can’t help but want one for yourself. Thanks to this book, I really want a VUNKULA of my own, thank you very much. Kudos to the author for inventing these devices with his imagination!

The second part that I really liked about this book was that the imagery and the descriptions of the characters and the world really drew me in. I could easily picture the setting, and could easily imagine what the characters looked like. Some authors try to achieve a vivid sense of imagery in their writing, but end up having just some or none. This novel had no problem doing so, which heightened my reading enjoyment factor.

There are a few things that I didn’t enjoy in the book, but no book is perfect, right? For example, Stenibelle being a girl in her reality but being a boy in other realities seemed cool for a second, but then seeing her contemplate on what gender she liked made me sigh. I really wanted her to end up with Gwendolyn, but alas, it did not happen (I may be biased because my ship did not sail<= fangirl language). Another thing that I didn’t really enjoy was that although once you get into the book you enjoy it, the beginning was somewhat confusing. I blame myself for this, though. I should’ve read the other books in the series, although this book could be considered a stand-alone.

Other than that, this book was a phenomenal read. A bit on the short-story side, but if you want a fun, interesting read to keep you on your toes, this book is for you.

Thanks to Ms. Amy Del Rosso and the author for letting me participate in the book tour!

About the Author: 

Ren Garcia is a Science Fiction/Fantasy author and Texas native who grew up in western Ohio. He has been writing since before he could write, often scribbling alien lingo on any available wall or floor with assorted crayons. He attended The Ohio State University and majored in English Literature. Ren has been an avid lover of anything surreal since childhood; he also has a passion for caving, urban archeology and architecture. His books are published by Loconeal. He currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, and their three dogs.

Tour Wide Giveaway Codes:

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Blog Tour Schedule:

September 21st – Christine Abee – Review
September 21st – Marian Allen – Guest Post
September 22nd – Melissa Martin’s Reading List – Review
September 23rd – TBA
September 24th – Cabin Goddess – Recipe & Review
September 25th – Room With Books – Playlist
September 28th – Atomic Pirate Girl’s Book Worm Booty – Review
September 29th – The Renegade Zombie Reviews – Review
September 30th – A Diary Of A Book Addict – Review
September 30th – Triple A Book Blog – Review
October 1st – Heather Ann’s Book Reviews – Review
October 1st – Leigh Anderson Romance – Guest Post
October 2nd – Karin Baker – Review
October 2nd – Pixie Vixen Book Reviews
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Blog Tour: Author Interview With Ms. Farah Oomerbhoy, Author of “The Last of the Firedrakes”

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Hello Everybody!

As you can see in my last post, I’ve recently reviewed the amazing book written by Ms. Farah Oomerbhoy, “The Last of the Firedrakes”. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Farah recently, and I wanted to share her thoughtful responses with you guys. Without further adieu, here is Ms. Farah Oomerbhoy on her book, “The Last of the Firedrakes”.

What was your inspiration for your book?

FO: Every reader at some point in their lives comes across a book that inspires them to think beyond the boundaries. For me that was the Harry Potter series.

The wonderful world of Hogwarts and the magical beings that lived within it made me look at magic in a completely different way. I had always loved reading fantasy stories, and Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings series; along with C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia series were already my favorites. These books inspired me to write a story that would combine the best of the three series, and so The Last of the Firedrakes started to take shape.

I started thinking about this book nearly ten years ago. Building the world of Avalonia, whenever I got time. The actual world creation started with a tapestry in my grandmother’s house. One day I stood before it and wondered, what if I could step into the tapestry, where would I end up? And so the world of Avalonia sprang into existence.

From then on, the person who stepped into the tapestry was a young 16-year-old girl who didn’t know who she really was, her name was Aurora, and The Last of the Firedrakes is her story.

What do you want to convey to the readers of your book?

FO: Nothing is impossible, and it is ultimately your choices in life, strength of character, and courage in the face of adversity, that will determine who you truly are.

I think Uncle Gabriel expresses this very well in the book, when he tells Aurora:

When difficulties come, we must see them as what they are—opportunities and a new path to discover your potential. How will you ever know the magnitude of courage that you are capable of, if you have never experienced the hopelessness of fear?”

What was your most memorable memory when writing “The Last of the Firedrakes”?

FO: Even though the story has changed many times over the years the one thing that I will always remember writing about is the tapestry. It is the one thing that has been consistent throughout and in my mind is the only way for Aurora to get to Avalonia.

What challenges did you have to face when you were writing “The Last of the Firedrakes”?

FO: I think writing Aurora’s character has by far been the most challenging thing. Trying to make her a believable sixteen-year-old girl was not easy. She can come across as someone who you want to shake some sense into, but I wanted her to have faults and make mistakes just like any ordinary teenager, and it’s not always easy for teenagers to learn from their mistakes. At the same time she is brave and cares deeply for others. She is also very trusting, which is one of the things that gets her into trouble. It can be hard balancing such a multi-faceted personality, and at the same time making sure that the character grows throughout the book. There is a lot more to Aurora that you haven’t seen yet, and will be revealed in book 2.

In your book, you have many different types of creatures who make up “The Last of the Firedrakes” universe. What gave you the ideas for them?

FO: I can’t really pin point how these ideas come to me, but I think it is an amalgamation of all the stories I have read over the years. I have always been a voracious fantasy reader, and the world of magic feels very familiar to me. I have extensively researched different fantasy races, creatures, and species, but I also enjoy changing things around and creating something different, while still keeping within the general idea people have of fantasy, so that it feels familiar.

What did you enjoy writing about during the writing process?

FO: The best part of writing fantasy is the world creation and world building. It is the part I enjoy the most, drawing maps, creating kingdoms, and societies, playing with the magic system of the world, and incorporating and researching different fantasy races and species.

In your book, Aurora had to make an important decision whether to leave her friend to die, or revive her friend with bad consequences. What would you do in that situation?

FO: I would like to say that I would have been smart and listened to the warnings. But the truth is I would have done exactly the same as she did. At the time, Aurora knew there would be consequences, but she never knew what they were. The actual reality that was before her, in that moment, was her best friend dying.  So she did all she could to save her, it all came from a place of love, and from having a good heart.

Just for fun questions:

If you could be any character from the book, who would you be?

FO: I think I would be Rafe 😀

What place would you choose to live in your book?  

FO: Silverthorne Castle, in Eldoren.

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors who might want to write a fantasy novel?

FO: One of the most important aspects of writing fantasy is the creation of your world. Although it can be anything that you desire it to be, there are certain rules that we must follow to make sure that the world makes sense.

The first thing to do is to decide what type of world you are going to create. Drawing a rough map is a good place to start. From there you can fill in the physical environment; seas, mountains, forests, rivers, etc. Once you have a map in your head it is a lot easier to navigate the world in which your story will take place. Magic is another very important element to consider when writing fantasy. A cohesive magical system should be created in order for the readers to immerse themselves in the story. If the magic doesn’t make sense, it becomes tedious to read. You should also consider, when creating your fantasy world, the races or species that live in this world, the powers they have, and the kingdoms that they inhabit.

Once you have a clear picture of your world in mind it becomes far easier to write an interesting story, and it almost grows from the limitations of the world you’ve created.

~ Ms. Farah Oomerbhoy

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And so ends the interview! Thank you so much to Ms. Farah Oomerbhoy for letting me interview her, and to Ms. Amy Del Rosso, the blog tour host for letting me take part in this event.

About the Author:

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

Farah lives with her husband and three children in their family home in Mumbai, India. She has a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Mumbai. Her first novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of the Avalonia Chronicles will be published worldwide August 15th, 2015.

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 The Last of the Firedrakes Blurb:

A fantastic adventure story that will transport you to a dazzling world of myth and magic.

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

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

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

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Tour Wide Giveaway Codes:

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Blog Tour Schedule:

August 14th – Reads All The Books – Review

August 15th – Dizneeee’s World of Books – Review / Guest Post

August 15th – Melissa Martin’s Reading List – Review / Top 5/10 Post

August 17th – Ya Fiction Queen – Guest Post

August 17th – Christine Abee – Review

August 18th – Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between – Interview

August 18th – EndlessReading – Review

August 19th – Motif by Tanya – Author Interview

August 19th – Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review / Guest Post

August 20th – Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review / Guest Post

August 21st – Book Addict – Guest Post / Author Interview

August 21st – Author of The Not So Public Library – Review / Interview

August 24th – Miranda’s Book Blog – Review / Guest Post

August 25th – BookishFever – Review

August 26th – The Reader and the Chef – Review / Top 5 or 10

August 27th – The Power of Three Readers – Promo

August 27th – Ashley Martinez – Review

August 28th – Bookish – Review

August 31st – The Renegade Zombie Reviews – Review / Author Interview

September 1st – Beauty’s Library – Review / Guest Post

September 2nd – Pixie Vixen Reviews – Character Interview

September 3rd – Creatyvebooks – Review / Author Interview

September 4th –

September 7th – serenastone – Author Interview

September 8th –

September 9th – Read with Royella – Review

September 10th – Reading with AngelaRenea – Review / Author Interview

September 11th – Atomic Pirate Girl’s Book Worm Booty – Review

September 11th – Triple T Tots tweens and teens – Review / Teasers

September 14th – Anything but Vanilla Book Blog – Playlist

September 14th – Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review

B|t|B : How Well do you know your Literature Challenge #1

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Test your knowledge here!

Between|the|Blurb

Hello my fellow bookworms and page turners, today’s post is a little bit of fun!

Now I know you all think you know your literature, but exactly how well do you know it? well I have derived a small fun test, simply distinguish what popular work of fictional literature these maps are from. There are Seven wonders of the world, so naturally there are seven magical and wonderful worlds to Identify!

Simply submit your answers from the multiple choice options for each map in the comment section below. I will reveal the correct answers in 1 weeks time! and will also congratulate anyone who get all 7 correct!

Map No #1

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The Dario of Christopher Columbus – Christopher Columbus
Around the world in 80 days – Jules Verne
The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne

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Map No #2

Lev Grossman’s “The Magicians

The Magicians by Lev…

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Liebster Award

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Hello my fellow bookworms!

Today I found out I was nominated for the Liebster Award by the amazing @BetweenTheBlurb! Thank you for nominating me!

The Liebster Award is a great way to promote and support other bloggers’ blogs and share more ideas in the WordPress community. There are some rules you have to follow, but they could be easily accomplished :).

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So here are the rules:

1.) Each nominee must have less than 200 followers.

2.) You must thank the person who nominated you and put their link in your post.

3.) Answer 10 questions given to you, give 10 of your own for your nominees to answer.

4.) Nominate up to 10 blogs.

5.) Write a post containing your questions and in that post, write your answers to the questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.

6.) Include these rules in your post.

Here are the questions asked by John @BetweenTheBlurb:

1. In your own words, what do you think makes a good storyteller?

A good storyteller is someone who can paint a clear image using only words. Also, they should make any story sound interesting.

2. Where is your upmost favorite place to read, and why?

In a coffee shop! There’s this soft background noise in coffee shops that just helps me relax a lot. Also, you can buy coffees and pastries while reading!

3. What is your snack/beverage when reading?

Usually some kind of pastry, water, or coffee if I can get my hands on it. 😀

4. Do you think an illustrated cover plays a part in the book buying process?

For me, yes. The main reason why I usually pick up a book is the cover art. However, that is only one step of the process. If the first chapter or the blurb doesn’t capture my attention, then I usually put the book back. Then again, that is just my preference.

5. If you could live any book, which one would it be?

I’ve thought about this question a lot, but I would probably want to be part of Alice’s hunting group in Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter, or an Orange in the Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken.

6. If you could change one thing in your favorite book what would it be?

My current favorite book, the Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, is an amazing book, but it lacks humor. If there was a little better, I would definitely add it to my “Books I Will Love For The Rest Of My Life” list!

7. What is your favorite genre to read?

I think this is pretty obvious, but YA fiction with some sci-fi, fantasy, and a little bit of romance is the best genre for me!

8. Do you have a rating system for your reviews?

Yes, I use a five star rating system.

9. What is your top read of the year thus far?

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, followed closely by An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas.

10. What are you currently reading/reviewing?

The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy.

And here are my own questions:

1. What makes a book a “movie-worthy” book?

2. What do you do when you don’t have any books to read?

3. If there is one character you would delete in any book, who would it be and why?

4. If you were to write a book, what would the plot be?

5. What makes a good villain for a story?

6. If you could be any character in any book, who would you be and why?

7. If you wrote a book, what would be the first sentence of the first chapter?

8. Who is your favorite fictional sidekick in any book?

9. What ending in any book would you change if you were the author?

10. What is your main reaction/feeling when you finish a really good book?

Last but not the least, here are my nominees…

1. @Ahck!Furball!

2. @Geo’sBookBlog

3. @LoveAndOtherBookishThings

4. @DreamingThroughLiterature

5.@TravellinginmyBookcase

6.@FeatherBookmark

Until next time,

The Renegade Zombie

Spelled

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Title: Spelled

Author: Betsy Schow

Type: Adventure, Fantasy, A little bit of Romance

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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All spell is about to break loose in this madcap fairy tale mash-up
Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.
Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks–like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the not-so-charming prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.
Talk about unhappily ever after.
Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse…before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

I loved this book! I liked the fantasy, the less-than-perfect characters, and the concept of the story. This story is based on Grimm’s Fairytales and The Wizard of Oz, both I which love. I would definitely read more books from this author.

The main character of the book, Dorthea, is a princess of the Emerald kingdom. She is spoiled, haughty, and uncaring towards people who are not interesting enough or have lower status. Initially, I really did not like Dorthea’s personality and the way she treats her parents and other people. Her attitude towards her imprisonment is not something to be admired, and her selfish wishes are entirely self-serving. However, I loved how Dorthea developed into a great character later in the book. Her development throughout the book was amazing, and her transition from a snobby princess to a wise one who knows what the concept of friendship, love, and family really is believable and relatable. Another thing about Dorthea’s character development: she still retains the bad things about being human. Unlike other characters in other books who change from bad to good, Dorthea actually makes mistakes when she takes a turn for the good side. Also, her relationship with her kind-of-friend Rexi (I say this because of the rocky relationship between the two), and her love-interest, Kato, is highly amusing and interesting. Their relationship keeps readers interested on what is going to happen next between the three.  Kato, at first, seems extremely arrogant and above everyone else, but when he turns into a beast and understands his feelings toward Dorthea, he turns into a more reasonable and infinitely more likeable character. I loved how loyal he was to Dorthea even when she made her wish. He’s like a rock for Dorthea, and I love that about him.  Rexi, Dorthea’s friend, is the only character I’m undecided on. She has her nice moments, but I didn’t like how disloyal she was towards her only friend. I also didn’t like her cowardice, but everyone has their moments, right?
Finally, the storyline. I loved it, even though it went off course for a few chapters. It took a while for me to realize that the book was also based on the Wizard of Oz, but when I finally understood the reference, I enjoyed the book even more. What I really liked about the storyline was that even though it was based on Grimm’s Fairytales and the Wizard of Oz, there was still originality to it. I liked the idea of the Makers and the antagonists, which added flavor to the story.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and family, and would read more books by the author. My rating: five out of five stars.