Almost a Bride

almost-a-brideFROM THE WEBSITE…“In this spectacular new romance from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Jane Feather, fate deals one stubbornly single young woman and one deceptively heartless man a shocking hand in a high-stakes bet. But is love in the cards?

Jack Fortescu gambles to win, and this time his prize is not only his rival’s lavish mansion but everything in it–
including the man’s beautiful sister! But when it comes to games, Jack has met his match. . . .

Left homeless by her brother’s escapade, Arabella Lacey has two appalling choices: pack her bags–or agree to marry the lunatic who’s taken over her house. Why would such a handsome–and outrageously wealthy–man want such an unromantic arrangement? Arabella intends to find out, and have a little fun in the process at Jack’s expense . . . literally. As Jack discovers that his reluctant bride is no ordinary beauty, he feels a stir of admiration, among other emotions, that wasn’t part of the bargain. Now he’s the one with everything to lose. . . .”

FROM THE BOOK FAERY REVIEWS…As usual, most historical romances are fairly similar but I still can’t resist reading them. In Almost a Bride, Feather creates a story of a vengeful man (Jack Fortescu) who brings his enemy to suicide and then claims all of his property including his half-sister (Arabella Lacy). After some thought of fearing she’d lose her independence, Arabella agrees to marry Jack with the understanding that they were marrying for convenience and that neither expects the other for anything more but to keep their freedom of independence and to produce an heir. Over time you watch the passions spark in overdrive and the compassion the other has for the other while trying their hardest “not to care” about the others supposed “actions”. When Jack  finally learns to allow someone to step up to carry an act out to save his lost sister you can’t help but feel compassion for him and wonder for his wife’s selfless act of love.  The book was a page turner, often made me grin, made me want to jump up and “high five” or slap a character for their actions. The only thing I wanted to read more about that was lacking was the dispensing of Jack’s mistress.  I actually wanted some sort of “cat fight” between his wife and his old mistress and to know if Jack finally let her go financially.

Book Winners…3.27.09

Woohoo it’s time to announce this week’s book giveaway winners at The Book Faery Reviews!!  Winners, please contact me within 48 hours at thebookfaeryreviews@gmail.com with your mailing address so your book can be mailed out.  If I have not heard from you within 48 hours, it will go to the next person randomly selected on the list.

The Truth Lies In The Dark winner is…MJ!!

thetruthliesinthedarkwinners032709

The Shattered Reality winner is…Sharon Walling!!

shatteredrealitywinners032709

Thanks to all who participated and I promise you that there will be more books to come and already scheduled on The Book Faery Reviews calendar!! 

NEXT WEEK with the launch of The Book Faery Review’s NEW location, there will be a SPECIAL BOOK CARE PACKAGE given away to kick off our new spot.  Be SURE to subscribe as an e-mail subscriber so you don’t miss anything the transition April 1st at midnight.

Your Wicked Ways

your-wicked-waysFROM THE AUTHOR’S SITEHelene, the Countess Godwin, knows there is nothing more unbearably tedious than a virtuous woman. After all, she’s been one for ten long years while her scoundrel of a husband lives with strumpets and causes scandal after scandal. So she decides it’s time for a change–she styles her hair in the newest, daring mode, puts on a shockingly transparent gown, and goes to a ball like Cinderella, hoping to find a prince charming to sweep her off her feet… and into his bed.

But instead of a prince, she finds only her volatile, infuriatingly handsome… husband, Rees, the Earl Godwin. They’d eloped to Gretna Green in a fiery passion, but passion can sometimes burn too hot to last.

But now, Rees makes her a brazen offer, and Helene decides to become his wife again… but not in name only. No, this time she decides to be very, very wicked indeed.”

FROM THE BOOK FAERY REVIEWS…Eloisa James brings us another sultry read about an estranged married couple who’ve been apart the past 10 years who end up reuniting and creating a spark when brought back together to produce an heir and a musical score. Helene, the countess of Godwin changes from the prudish woman to a more daring and beautiful woman who entices many men after her change including her rake of a husband, Reese, the Earl of Godwin. In the past he’s refused to bed her for reproduction purposes and so she decides she just might get someone else to bed her instead for she longs for a child very much.  Once he discovers this he insists that he be the one since he can’t be cuckold and allow the estate to go to anyone but an heir or his brother.  So he finally agrees but she must come back to their house to help him with his music and all while his mistress of the past 3 years lives in her old room next to his. What a scandal…Will she do it? If you want a child and you’re married I suppose the man to father the child would be your husband and not just another man.

The only thing lacking for me was that I wanted a bit more “macho” action between the two men rivaling for her attentions.  It’s always a bit more fun when 2 men fight over a woman.

The Truth Lies in the Dark & Author Interview

a-truth-lies-in-the-darkFROM THE AUTHOR SITE…” What if you found out that everything you thought you knew was a lie? That the people you loved and trusted kept a life changing secret from you? These are a few of the questions Amanda Martineau must answer in The Truth Lies in the Dark. As a child Amanda survived a plane crash that killed her parents and left her with no memory of her life before the accident. Raised by her grandparents, she only knows what they have told her about her past and her family. But her reoccurring nightmares tell her something different. They leave her feeling like a stranger in her own mind. Then an unfinished letter written by her grandfather thrusts her deeper into confusion. A business trip with her husband Nick quickly turns into a personal journey to expose the secret of her past. As she searches for answers she only finds more questions. Who can she trust? Who is there to help her and who is there to make sure that the truth remains…in the dark?”

INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR…

BF: What was your inspiration to this book?

KC: I have always wanted to write a book and finally decided to try.  I started writing with a pen and a pad while I watched my kids play at the park.  I kept my writing hidden like a dirty secret.  I still find it hard to write when there are people around.  Once I had the characters and their backgrounds down on paper the entire story seemed to come alive in my head.  It was like I had already seen the movie and just had to put it on paper.  That was the hard part; finding time around the schedules of four children and a husband to concentrate on writing.  I finally set a time limit for myself to finish it or forget it.  I finished in two months.

BF: How did you go about creating the characters and places? Are any of the characters or places you wrote about significant to you?

KC: By the time I finished writing, reading, editing, re editing The Truth Lies in the Dark I felt like  Amanda and Nick were friends of mine.  I was so wrapped up in the story that I was talking to a friend and started to tell her something that Amanda did.  I caught myself and thought, “You really are losing it.  She’s not a real person.” But all of my characters are completely fictional.  I would get myself into trouble if I tried to base them on people I knew.

For the places in Connecticut, I chose ones that I was familiar with.  I used an atlas and the Internet to research the places in California and Nevada.

BF: Who was your favorite character to write?

KC: My favorite character in this book was Amanda.  She was not only the main character, but she changed the most in the story.  She started out very emotionally dependent.  I had fun giving her some guts.

BF: What was the most challenging part of writing the book?

KC: That would also have to be Amanda.  It was difficult to show her dependence on her grandparents and husband and not make her too weak.

BF: How long did it take to finish this novel?

KC: Once I got serious, it only took two months.  But that doesn’t count the year plus that I had my pad tucked away with all of my notes and the first chapter.

BF: If your book was being discussed by a book club, or a few friends meeting over coffee, what about the book do you think would drive the most discussion? (a particular character, event, theme)?

KC: Oh definitely the surprise twist after Amanda finds out that Nick knew about her mysterious past and didn’t tell her.  I am not saying anymore, but I have gotten a lot of comments on that.

BF: If your book was made into a movie, what actors/actresses would you like playing the main roles?

KC: First of all it would make a great Lifetime movie.  I’m not sure who I pick for actors.  Probably someone unknown, since I picture Amanda as a normal woman, slightly scarred and all.  As for picking who would play Nick.  All I ask is that I get to be there when they pick him.  Tall, dark, handsome and hopelessly devoted to his wife…yum :)

BF: Do you write during set hours of the day or do you write when the mood hits?

KC: I write the best when there is no one home, so not as often as I like.  When there are no snow storms or sick days ( or as I call them, kid holidays!) I try to write everyday.

BF: What types of books do you most enjoy reading? Who are your favorite authors?

KC: I love all types.  I always have a book next to the couch that I read while watching TV with the family.  I have read most of Ernest Hemingway, Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steele, Mary Higgins Clark, Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, and just read the first book in her J.D. Robb  Death series.  I also have a over flowing shelf of books that cover every aspect of writing, thanks to my book lovin’ mother.  She is always picking up helpful books for me at library sales, book stores, etc. 

BF: Do you have any advice to those working on their first novels?

KC: Yes, be patient.  Publishing takes a lot more time than most realize, and rejections are a normal part of the process.  And be prepared to do a lot of your own promoting and marketing.  The book world is changing and even big publishers are expecting more author involvement.

BF: Are you currently working on another novel and if so could you give us a sneak peek?

KC: I have a second manuscript being considered by a New York publisher now.  It is about a real estate agent that buys an investment property to “Flip” and flips his whole life instead.  I will hopefully have more news on that soon.  I am also working on another mystery.

Thank you Farrah for interviewing me on The Book Faery and thanks to all that took the time out of their own busy lives to learn a little about me and my book.  Anyone that is interested in following my Book Blog Tour, or just want to see where I’ve been, you can go to my website http://sites.google.com/site/kristincallenderbooks.

The Truth Lies in the Dark by Kristin Callender is available at www.amazon.com/Truth-Lies-Dark-Kristin-Callender/dp/1604520140 and is currently the “Featured Book of the Month” at www.bluewaterpress.com.
– Kristin Callender

FROM THE BOOK FAERY REVIEWS…Thanks to Kristin for spending the time to allow me to interview her and for sending me a copy of her book.  I enjoyed getting to know her more apart from just being an author but as a mother and individual as well.  I always enjoy an author who likes to connect with her readers on a more personal level and that I feel we did with our previous interactions for this interview.  I’m just as thrilled as she was when she told me that her son designed the cover for the book.  It looks great and gave it a good image for your story.  As a mother I know that she was excited to share with others her son’s talent and the fact that he was involved in her process.  I personally enjoyed the suspense in the book and the feelings she created with the characters.  There was a moment that I was annoyed by the character Amanda’s dependency and constant “need” and the way that her husband Nick seemed to act too lovey.  However, after reading the whole story it made sense and answered the whys I had.  What man wouldn’t want to protect and love his wife as much as Nick did?  I have to admit I was a little shocked to read who actually caused all the pain for her once it was revealed.  Good book and one I’d recommend to someone looking for a quick read that will keep you engaged to the end.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Now it’s time for a GIVEAWAY!! 1 randomly picked commenter will receive a copy of Kristin’s book!

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

The Book Faery Reviews is hosting a Book Giveaway 3/24-3/26!!

  • Giveaway ends on: 3/26/09 at Noon ET, Winner to be randomly selected and posted by 3/27/09. Winners have 48 hours to contact me with mailing addresses once notified of winning.
  • Copies available: 1 copy
  • Countries available: USA & Canada; No PO Boxes

5 Ways to gain an entry (please leave a comment for EACH item completed):

  1. Leave a comment below with your e-mail address
  2. Leave a comment in another post here at The Book Faery Reviews
  3. Add The Book Faery Reviews to your RSS feed or subscribe via e-mail
  4. Post about this giveaway and provide a link
  5. Follow @wifeandmomof3 and Tweet about this giveaway. Don’t forget to provide me your Twitter username in your comment so I can follow you.

Author Guest Post: R. Scot Johns

the-saga-of-beowulf-bannerI am honored to have fantasy author, R. Scot Johns, guest post on The Book Faery Reviews today.  Before we get into Scot’s guest post about Fantasy Digital Art, here’s a tidbit about the author and his new book The Saga of Beowulf.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…
R. Scot Johns is a life-long student of ancient and medieval literature, with an enduring fascination for Norse mythology and epic fantasy. He first came to Beowulf through his love of J. R. R. Tolkien, a leading scholar on the subject. As an Honors Medieval Literature major he has given lectures on such topics as the historical King Arthur and the construction of Stonehenge. He owns and operates Fantasy Castle Books, his own publishing imprint, and writes the blog Adventures of an Independent Author, where you can follow his progress as he writes The Jester’s Quest, his second novel.

You can visit his website at www.fantasycastlebooks.com.

ABOUT THE BOOK…
The Saga of Beowulf is the first complete and accurate novelization of the epic Old English poem Beowulf, chronicling the tragic wars of the rising Nordic nations, the endless blood-feuds of their clans, battles with mythic creatures in an ancient heroic age, and the final, futile struggle of one man against the will of Fate that made of him a Legend.

The story follows the young Norse warrior Beowulf as he embarks upon a fateful quest for vengeance against the creature that slew his father, setting in motion a sequence of events that will bring about the downfall of a nation, all the while fleeing from the woman he has sworn to love. Based on extensive historical research and steeped in Nordic myth and lore, the saga unfolds across the frozen fields of Sweden and the fetid fens of Denmark, ranging from the rocky heights of Geatland to the sprawling battlefields of ancient France, as our hero battles men and demons in a quest to conquer his own fears.

“An epic adventure 1500 years in the making,” this classic tale now comes to life once more in a bold new retelling for a modern audience.

Let’s now welcome R. Scot Johns as he talks about Digital Fantasy Art…

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Digital Fantasy Art

Originally I had intended The Saga of Beowulf to be a graphic novel. Not the kind the resembles an overgrown comic book, but one with a heavy dose of illustrations in the manner of those early 1900’s pen and inks by Arthur Rackham or Howard Pyle, with a heavy dose of Frank Frazetta thrown in for good measure. I’ve always loved artwork, almost as much as I love books, and seeing the two together is sheer bliss for me.

But as my composition grew, taking on the epic scale of the story it retells, there was less room left for art and more reliance on the imagination of the reader. Perhaps this is as it should be, for there is much to be said for letting the reader’s own mind fill in the subtle details, allowing them to shape the characters and settings to their own peculiar tastes. So it was that of all the many sketches I had done, intending them to grace the pages of my published novel, in the end only one found its way into print.

prologue

I did this pen & ink initially in pencil, which I then scanned into my computer and inked in Corel Painter using a new digital pen tablet I bought for the purpose. I had done one test version in actual pen & ink, but discovered while adding in the text that I needed to alter the size and layout of the composition to make it fit. This proved to be one of the many advantages of digital over actual ink. Each of these elements were created on a separate layer, so that I could move them about and manipulate their size and shape. The manuscript, by the way, is an accurate facsimile of the actual Beowulf manuscript, in its original Old English hand, upon which the novel is based. That document, our sole source for this oldest of English epics, was penned in two different hands, the belief being generally held that the first scribe died before he could complete the tale, hence the ephemeral symbolism of the snuffed out candle and spilled ink jar.

But all books must have at least one major piece of full-color art, that which will grace its cover, and fantasy fiction is not the least conspicuous in this regard. I knew I wanted something fairly bright and bold, and my basic inspiration was drawn from a painting by Frazetta called Kane on the Golden Sea, which featured the muscular hero staring out across the bow of a Viking-style warship as they sail toward some unseen shore.

ship-scan-jpg-500ship-drawing-jpg-500

picture1

Starting with a quick rough pencil sketch, again I scanned this into Painter and with my digital pen set to a light graphite I worked out the basic shape and perspective, roughing in the detail taken from the famous Oseberg Viking ship housed in the Oslo Ship Museum. The headstock was based, albeit rather loosely on a 5th century example found in a Dutch riverbed (see inset image).

After finalizing the details, I started in on the painting, using simulated oils with a fine camel-hair brush, working meticulously over the course of several weeks to build up texture and detail in layers. Again I created each element on a separate layer, ultimately reaching nearly fifty layers, including the background image. The overall process required roughly 300 hours over the course of more than six weeks of long daily sessions. In the end I ran short on both time and energy, as my prospective publication date drew ever nearer and my summer vacation came to an end.

ship-paint-beo-only-jpg-600xFor the titles I had originally created this header plaque, due to the fact that I had initially thought to use the dragon battle scene for the cover, with the fire-drake emerging from its cave. The logo lettering was drawn and inked by hand, in both a solid fill and outline version, then scanned into Photoshop, where I modeled it with over forty layers to create the jewel-inlaid-in-gold appearance. At this point you can see I was still considering it as an illustrated novel.picture2

However, for the final layout I dropped the faux-stone background and only used the letters, in order to balance the composition and show the background better. Here I’ve added a variation of the lettering for the spine, my publisher’s logo, and a blurb on the back, although the final ISBN block has not yet been comped in on this image.

Fantasy art has always played a major role in the initial impact a fantasy novel makes upon the reader, from prompting them to pick up the book in the first place to establishing the tone and imagery which sets them off upon their voyage. It was with that in mind that I decided upon the image of Beowulf and his men setting out across the roiling sea beneath a thunderous, brooding sky. It is my hope that in viewing the cover, the reader will know they’re headed for an adventure.

For higher resolution versions of these and other images, please visit www.fantasycastlebooks.com, where you can also read and download the first two chapters of The Saga of Beowulf and view two promotional video trailers featuring this art.

book_jacket_500x

Blessings

blessingsBlessings by Anna Quindlen

FROM THE WEBSITE”Blessings, the bestselling novel by the author of Black and Blue, One True Thing, Object Lessons, and A Short Guide to a Happy Life, begins when, late at night, a teenage couple drives up to the estate owned by Lydia Blessing and leaves a box.

In this instant, the world of the estate called Blessings is changed forever. The story of Skip Cuddy, the Blessings caretaker, who finds a baby asleep in that box and decides he wants to keep her, and of matriarch Lydia Blessing, who, for her own reasons, decides to help him, Blessings explores how the secrets of the past affect decisions and lives in the present; what makes a person, a life, legitimate or illegitimate, and who decides; the unique resources people find in themselves and in a community. This is a powerful novel of love, redemption, and personal change by the Pulitzer Prize–winning writer about whom The Washington Post Book World said, “Quindlen knows that all the things we ever will be can be found in some forgotten fragment of family.”

Readers Guide for Book Clubs

Visit Anna Quindlen’s website

FROM THE BOOK FAERY REVIEWS…I thoroughly enjoyed reading Quindlen’s novel Blessings. She creates each character with such life suited for their particular “lifestyle”. We watch a young man who finds hope within a small bundle that transforms his life forever. We become a fly on the wall learning about the family secrets of the Blessings estate and how it affects the lives of those impacted. You can’t help but feel for her characters as they battle their own inner struggles before they can reach some sort of peace. And at times you can’t help but want to slap or punch them into reality. My only disappointment at the end was that I wish the main characters from the Blessing estate remained a big part of the little girl’s life. Why must they leave when she had finally breathed love into their souls? Oh I DEFINITELY cried when the estranged teenage mother came to pick her up and he didn’t want to be in her life.  I kept thinking to myself, “Why aren’t you going to fight for her since she did just abandon her!” and “Why won’t you be part of this precious life?! She became so much of you!” Course we all know that book characters don’t always listen to us, right? But then if the main character hadn’t “walked away” then I would have expected him to stay all along and I wouldn’t have experienced as many emotions as I did at the end. It’s a reminder that not all stories end happily ever after. But then again, perhaps without this little blessing whom touched the lives of the estate mistress and her employee their own life would have remained lost from their own abandonments.

Save the Best for Last with Author Interview

save-the-best-for-lastFROM THE AUTHOR’S SITE”Zwick lamps, a Secret admirer to Whitney Barnes got targeted by a genius son of the past evil family that had lived in green oasis town. However, it was once before that zwick had finally discovered his supernatural powers that were only known by the isolated old woman Tabitha, a misfortuned lady whose husband died on their wedding day.

In the aftermath of a fire rampage, zwick lamps is framed and prosecuted while Karl Hamilton got convicted and beheaded as per the capital punishment for misdemeanors in the town. Though All along elites had thought that their town was safe. Unfortunately they realized the evil bangle was using Karl’s body which raised people tension and eye brows as the entity haunted the town. Screaming with frustration, it seemed unstoppable, untouchable and above all powers as the bicentenary day of its ancestors was nearing closer to the sacrifice.

But zwick driven by pain of his own past experiences, He was determined to save Rai Evans this time due to the fact that he had realized how much crazy he was about her. But the dateline had to be met in the midst of the eclipse in order to get possession of all his abilities to save Rai while getting rid of the guiltiness of Whitney’s death on his heart. Though, he knew he will never reunite with Madam Tabitha if he does save the girl.”

THE BOOK FAERY REVIEWS INTERVIEW W/ THE AUTHOR…

The Book Faery: What was your inspiration to this book?

Kim Hanks: In fact it was a day dream that led me to initiate into the world of save the best for last. This Idea settled quickly in my head than any other sub plots I had had before it. It was amazing to me because the story was imaginary more visual to me. I wasn’t a writing diva by then, but I knew the next thing was to bring that epic fantasy tale to life.

TBF: How did you go about creating the characters and places? Are any of the characters or places you wrote about significant to you?

KH: They became significant to me after creating them and giving them total life. They’re not related to me or anybody in the real world.

TBF: Who was your favorite character to write?

KH: Sincerely Zwick lamps, was my favorite character to write about because not only that I have great knowledge about him. But he was so much fun to create him.

TBF: What was the most challenging part of writing the book?

KH: I can’t say that there was a challenging part in writing this novel apart from my courage not to give up, many people get discouraged and get off writing with nothing other than five pages.

So it was a challenge to me that I loved and enjoyed every minute working on save the best for last.

TBF: How long did it take to finish this novel?

KH: Three months

TBF: If your book was being discussed by a book club, or a few friends meeting over coffee, what about the book do you think would drive the most discussion? (a particular character, event, theme)?

KH: Obviously, Zwick lamps draw the most discussion because his life is always in trouble, mostly in the theme of supernatural.

TBF: If your book was made into a movie, what actors/actresses would you like playing the main roles?

KH: Zac Efron, Scarlett Johansson and Vanessa Hudgens can make it a great blockbuster of all time.

TBF: Do you write during set hours of the day or do you write when the mood hits?

KH: I don’t have set hours for writing at the moment; I mostly write during nights but when I begin, I write until I can’t take it anymore.

TBF: What types of books do you most enjoy reading? Who are your favorite authors?

KH: I read a variety of different genres from various authors and I enjoy all the good books, I don’t think that I can stick on something being my favorite, because there so many new things that comes daily in the literary world.

TBF: Do you have any advice to those working on their first novels?

KH: Believing in your work is vital to any author, if you don’t trust it, nobody will. Keeping reading and don’t forget to write something every day. It will help you to recognize advancements in your writing craft as you writing career goes on.

TBF: Are you currently working on another novel and if so could you give us a sneak peek?

KH: Currently, I’m working on the sequel of save the best for last with other two single title projects. And at the core of the second book, the fate continues and we have one character who’s not coming back in book two.

Thank you Kim Hanks for taking the time out for an interview and thanks to Pump Up Your Books Promotion group for giving me the opportunity to help promote books!