Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Author Interview: Patria Dunn Rowe

I have been corresponding more often with the authors of the books I am reviewing. In doing so, I kept wanting to ask questions I had about the books I was reading. Things like, "where did you get that idea?" or "what would you do if you were given the same choice." I think a lot of readers would love to ask their favorite authors these questions.

In an effort to do just that I have decided to try something new with Moonlit Reviews. In the future I will be including, where I can, a short question and answer session with the authors. 

I felt I would be remiss in not going back and asking a few questions of one of my favorite new authors, Patria Dunn Rowe, and luckily she agreed to be my very first interviewee. 

CHRISTINE: Welcome to Moonlit Reviews, Patria. Could you please, introduce yourself to your readers? 

PATRIA: Hey Everyone!!!! 

My name is Patria Dunn-Rowe (author of The Gifts:Trilogy) and I'm super excited to be doing my very first author interview with Christine Butler! I’m a 29 year old mother of three children (ages 4, 5, & 7) from Louisa, Virginia. Writing, while it is my passion, and will hopefully be my full time career one day, is only a side hobby at this time. During the day I am a full time financial editor for Standard & Poor’s, in the afternoons I am a full time mom, friend, playmate, and mentor to my three beautiful children, and finally, once they are in bed (whatever time that may be- LOL-) I am a full blown full time writer!

My interest range from classic to unimaginable, and everyday I find that I've 
begun to live within my imagination instead of it within me. Reality is  becoming what I dream it to be and it’s amazing how liberating that is after finally admitting to myself that I was meant to be a writer. Now, while The Gifts: Trilogy is my first work, it certainly won’t be my last. Now that I’ve finally found my innerself, I’m never letting go! Other things many people don’t know about me is that I am also a Pianist, & Poet. I never look at my accomplishments as being my best because I always feel like the best is yet to come.

CHRISTINE: Have you always been a writer? Please, elaborate on when you started writing and how you started the process of writing your novels.

PATRIA:  This question leads to a very complex answer for me, but I’ll try to keep it short!
In my heart, I think I have always been a writer, but I didn’t figure that out until about a year and a half ago. My eleventh grade year of high school, I had the honor of being in an advanced English class of one of the best teachers of all time (in my mind) –Ed Buhrer.

That first day I was terrified of what would be required of me, but English was a subject that I was most passionate about, and I was ready to give it my all. That first day I walked into the classroom there was a small 3x5 index card on every desk that read:

This is my daybook.
In it are my dreams, my imaginings and crazy, random thoughts. In here are 
recorded both my good and bad days; lurking in these pages are clues to my 
inner selves. THIS IS NOT MY DIARY; I do not have time to record what I ate 
for lunch, or why I failed that midterm I studied so hard for, and to be honest, I probably don’t care why a friend had a fight(again) with a boy/girlfriend. I care more about what that friend does. Someday, I will re visit these pages to discover how I have changed and what dreams and hopes and lives I wrote about today I still have to live.

This one little index card is what changed my life. I followed the instructions to a T and I began to write. From then on, through college, and up until I had my first child - I wrote what I imagined; I wrote what I felt; I wrote what I dreamed. I didn’t know at the time that what I wrote then, would later lead me to become a self published author.

A year a half ago I sat down and read the whole Twilight Saga in four days. I even took the fourth day off of work just so that I could finish Breaking Dawn! In the months that followed, Stephenie Meyer’s writing style stayed with me, and I knew that I could write something just as great, but I wasn’t ready yet. So…for months…I read other books, and thought about what I wanted my first book to be about. And then…it hit me!

From the very first sentence that I wrote of book one of the Trilogy, I became a writer. I’ve been writing ever since.

CHRISTINE: Where do you find your inspiration for the books you write and the characters that inhabit them?

PATRIA: Inspiration, for me, comes from everywhere and anywhere. I’m so glad that other people can’t read my mind because they would probably think me, certifiably crazy. My imagination runs wild throughout the day no matter if I’m at work, home, in the car, or even at church. One minute my mind is focused on the task at hand, the next I’m a new character in a not yet created story, living out a fantasy in my head!

Quite often I'm thinking of two things at once, writing out a major cliffhanger to a new chapter -I just thought to add-, while simultaneously cooking dinner, giving the kids a bath, and adding up the work I need to do at my full time job the next day. It's never ending!

One quote that has always stayed with me I actually heard spoken, first, by Whoopi Goldberg In the movie: Sister Act 2 when she quoted Rainer Maria Rilke –Author of Letters To A Young Poet-. “A fellow used to write to him and say: "I want to be a writer. Please read my stuff." And Rilke says to this guy: "Don't ask me about being a writer. lf when you wake up in the morning you can think of nothing but writing...then you're a writer."

It’s my inspiration, and it’s what keeps me going when I feel like I might as well just give up. I wake up every morning and I dream every night about the stories I want to write. I am inspired, and I am meant to be a writer.

CHRISTINE: You decided to self-publish your trilogy. Can you explain to your readers why you chose to self publish and a little about what that experience has been like?

PATRIA: My decision to self publish was almost by accident, but a Godsend. When I finished book one of the trilogy over a year ago, like any newbie author, I immediately began querying agents, just knowing that I was going to get a yes in there somewhere. Boy oh Boy were my eyes opened quickly as I got rejection letter after rejection letter. Sixteen rejection letters later, and discouraged beyond measure, I took a full year off from writing. My disappointment wasn’t the only factor in deciding to take time off from my new hobby. At the time, my children were even younger than they are now, and I was spending so much time away from them, writing, that I felt guilty. If there was going to be no reward at the end of the journey, then why go through all the trouble right? WRONG!

“The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

How true the words of that quote rang for me a year later when I finally sat down and asked myself why I began writing in the first place. My answer: I needed something that was just ME. Over the last ten years I’d been so busy becoming a wife, a mother, and a career woman that I had somehow lost myself. I no longer knew what made me happy (besides my family), I no longer dreamed of anything more than what I already was.

Once I realized this, I began writing again, determined to finish the trilogy I 
started. It was always in my mind to go after agents again, but not until the trilogy was finished this time. An article about Amanda Hocking –a self published indie author- changed my way of thinking on this. The money that she made –while mesmerizing to say the least- was not so important. I wanted what she wanted: for people to read my books, for them to share them with their friends, for them to talk about it, and talk about me as an author. I wanted it, and her success story sealed the deal for me. With a little research and time, I was a self published author a month after I finished book two of The Gifts: Trilogy. A month after that, I’d written and released the third book of the Trilogy!

Did I mention that I’m a super fast writer? LOL

I also have a wonderful friend/ co-worker –Tonia Louden- who has devoted part of almost every afternoon she has to helping me edit and proofread my books.

Self-Publishing is what is best for me right now, however, in the future my 
sights are still set on pursuing an agent to represent the Trilogy. I’ve always 
dreamed big, and in the dream I have a being a full time working author, I see 
myself becoming a household name, my books in brick and mortar bookstores 
around the world. I say this, not to be self-righteous or conceded in any way. It took a long time for me to believe in myself, and now that I do, I am my biggest cheerleader –even if I’m cheering alone-.

CHRISTINE: Now that all three books in The Gifts Trilogy are out, do you have any other projects in the works? If so, tell us a little bit about it.

PATRIA: Wow I don’t know which to mention first! LOL Remember when I said that my imagination ran wild day in and day out? I wasn’t lying! I have three projects outlined and am halfway through my first erotic lit novel: Killer Temptations. I don’t want to be bound by the fantasy fiction genre, so I have plans to write in other genres to give myself a break from the one I’m most passionate about.

On the agenda for June and July I plan on writing a semi SciFi novel titled: SEED and am seriously debating on a sequel for it called: Plant

The last five months of the year I plan to dedicate to my next fantasy fiction 
trilogy (Possibly Saga): The Stepping Stones

CHRISTINE: What inspired you to write about Nephilim?

PATRIA: The concept behind The Gifts: Trilogy came to me after the frenzy of released Vampire stories following Stephenie Meyer's success with the Twilight books.

It seemed like everywhere I turned, authors were jumping on the Vampire train to try and mimic or top the greatness she achieved with the saga. I wanted something new, something fresh, and I was tired of buying and checking out books that ultimately had the same story line, same plot, been there done that feel. Never have I ever read any author’s book that has done this concept quite in this manner with Nephilim. It's original and gripping to say the least (at least in my opinion, but I have a few reviews to back that up *smiles*).

Any time that you can re-read your own book and fall in love with the story and every character 101 times over, you know its a good read. I can truly say that I am head over heels…and still falling.

CHRISTINE: In the first book you describe how the Nephilim were created with the use of a very interesting backstory. Tell us how you developed that backstory.

PATRIA:  Before I actually began writing the trilogy I did some research on the background of the Nephilim. They are only mentioned twice in the Bible, and there isn’t much there to go on, so my research went further and led me to the Book Enoch (said to be a lost book of the Bible). The creation of the Nephilim in my book steamed from there -staying true to the way they came to earth, later being cast down for their sins against mankind, and basically becoming an extinct creature-. With the trilogy being fantasy fiction, this of course left the door wide open to add my own little imaginative twist, and WOW did I have fun doing it. By the end of book one I felt like I knew what it was like to become half human, half Nephilim. I felt like I was living their destiny, and that's what I want for my readers –to live the story, not just read it-.

CHRISTINE: The main character, Nahla, was not raised by her biological parents, nor was she raised within her race. What was your motivation for creating that dynamic for Nahla?

PATRIA: This question brings me back to two of my earlier points: Dreaming BIG and wanting to write something totally fresh and new. How often have you read a story about a Caucasian child being raised by African American parents? You see it the other way around all the time, with many different ethnicities replacing the African American child. How often have you seen a movie where all of the main characters are of different nationalities, ethnicities, and upbringings, yet they are family? Not many! I eventually see this trilogy becoming big enough to be made into a big screen movie -something that publishing houses will fight for, and something movie directors will argue over whose going to produce it-!

There is no girl next door in this story, and this would be an opportunity for 
African American, Hawaiian, African, Asian, Caucasian, and many other ethnic 
actors to come together in a powerful on screen production that could rock the YA & Adult book & film industry. All it needs is a chance.

CHRISTINE: If you were to find out you were a Nephilim and you found yourself faced with the same choice Nahla was faced with: to live forever as a Nephilim with a gift , but never have children or to give up the gift for a normal human life - what would you choose and why?

PATRIA: What a perfect question to end the interview with! I've thought this same question over, time and time again while writing this trilogy. How could anyone make such a difficult decision and still be happy for the rest of their life? For me, the one thing I wanted in life was to create a legacy -my children-. I knew I loved them more than I could ever love myself, even before they were thought of. To not have that choice to conceive, if I chose to keep my gift...unfathomable...in my mind. I still cannot answer this question without sounding completely selfish.

I would have given the gift back if I had a choice, but let me leave all of you 
reading this with a question of my own:

What good is immortality with a gift without the power to give yourself what you desire most?

CHRISTINE: And now that you have us all thinking about that, is there anything else you would like to add?

PATRIA:  I would truly like to thank Christine Butler from the bottom of my heart for purchasing and reviewing my debut novel. She has boosted my confidence in my writing, and has given me hope that my work will one day be discovered.

I would also like to thank every reader out there that has purchased and read the books of The Gifts: Trilogy, or plan to purchase and read them. You have helped me fulfill one of my lifelong dreams of becoming an author whose work is shared with, and read by many. I pray that this story has inspired you to read more of my books and support my journey to become even more than a self published author.

It is with most humble fervor that I give all glory to God for the many talents he has blessed me with.

I am looking forward to the journey that I have ahead of me, and I hope to include you all in my many adventures I have waiting in my imagination!

CHRISTINE:  Thank you, Patria, for humoring my first attempt at an author interview here at Moonlit Reviews. It has been a very informative and entertaining experience!

If you have not gone out to buy a copy of The Gifts: Trilogy books yet, please, do yourself a favor and add them to your "To Be Read" lists! 

You can find my review of The Gifts, the first book in Patria's The Gifts Trilogy, here: http://www.moonlitdreams.org/3/post/2011/05/the-gifts-patria-dunn-rowe.html

Friday, May 27, 2011

Gladius and the Bartlet Trial - J.A. Paul


I love reviewing all different kinds of books, and while I loose myself in them, I have to say I also enjoy getting to know some of the authors who contribute to those pages. I had the pleasure of corresponding back and forth a bit with J.A. Paul before I ever read his book. I liked him right from the start and had a feeling his writing style would be just as engaging. He did not disappoint me!

Gladius and the Bartlet Trial is the perfect story for middle school aged children through adults who are yearning for a new adventure. The Bartlet Trial is a test of a young Wiggin's ability to survive one full lunar cycle in the dangerous Longwood Forest. The main character, Gladius, sets out on his very first adventure through the forest and, after having been regaled with his father's and brothers' adventures over the years, he sets out with some pretty large shoes to fill. Beyond having to bring home tales of bigger and better adventures, Gladius is also counted on to bring home prize money for his trial that will pay the taxes to help his family keep their farm. Along the way the 15 year old Gladius runs into some pretty strange and dangerous creatures. He also makes some new friends and joins in aiding them against the evil tyrant, Mulhurt.

Gladius and the Bartlet Trial was as charming as it was captivating. As a parent I would have no problem with my nine year old advanced reader picking this book up, which he has already asked to do. I feel I must add here that both of my boys (ages 9 and 12) do tend to judge books by their covers first and they have both ogled the cover in my Kindle selection window and begged to be the first to read it. I believe the exact words were: “Ohhh, that one looks cool, I got dibs!” Luckily for them, there's more to this book than the cover - much more! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. It was perfectly paced, extremely well written, and had absolutely no bad language in it at all. As a parent to avid readers I can't ask much more than that. I simply can't wait to read more from J.A. Paul!

J.A. Paul's website can be found here: http://www.authorjapaul.com/

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Review of The Gifts by Patria Dunn Rowe

The Gifts was Patria Dunn Rowe's debut novel. With it, she will definitely make a name for herself! 

Book Description from Amazon:"When twenty-one year old Nahla Marks decides to start her junior year at Wake Forest University as an education major, instead of continuing on the path to pre-med, everything seems to fall apart. Her parents have practically disowned her, stripping all financial help and communication away. Then, there is this feeling, this color -as she calls it- that has begun to take over her body. She doesn’t know how to control it, and the more it happens, the worse it gets. 

Gideon’s bedroom, Gideon’s apartment, Gideon… had saved her, nursing her wounds. Nephilim was the word he used, but not quite, he cautioned as he told her a story -a story that explained what was happening to her, and why he now stood before her…seemingly, an angel. 

She’d never asked for this to happen to her, and didn’t want the chaos that seemed to follow her everywhere now. Not only was the media looking for her, but someone else wanted the gifts they possessed, at any cost…"

I was immediately drawn into Nahla's story, from her unusual birth and upbringing to the secret she can't seem to keep hidden. Nahla's story, while superbly entertaining and engaging, was not the only one told. I was swept away by the back story of how the Gifts came to be and how they got to where they ended up. I absolutely love to read novels that have multiple layers, as this one does. The author did an amazing job pulling the stories together in a smooth, easy read that keeps you turning pages.

Aside from the story within a story there are the multi-dimensional characters. Even as certain characters discover more about themselves than meets the eye, the author also keeps them very human. Their hopes, dreams, concerns and fears all have that human edge to them that some authors tend to loose when they start giving out powers to their characters. 

There are a few issues in the book that can be attributed to e-book formatting problems, however; Patria Dunn Rowe is such an amazing storyteller that they are easily overlooked. The tale she tells is simply too captivating to put down. 

One final note, while I wouldn't call this book a YA novel, I will say that I wouldn't be opposed to my teenage daughter reading it. I think, this book in particular, is a great for high school age and beyond.
I already have the second book in this series, Signs and WondersI can't wait to get started on it, because The Gifts will definitely leave you wanting more... more answers, more romance, and more Gifts!I will definitely post an update on the second book when I finish!You can find Patria Dunn Rowe onTwitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Forts: Fathers and Sons - Review


Book Review for “Forts: Fathers and Sons” by Steven Novak.

 As a reader this is what I thought:
Written in the spirit of the Narnia adventures five children are plunged from their Earthly existence into a strange new world where they not only have to fight to find one another, but to simply stay alive. The five children find themselves in the midst of a prophecy that even they aren't sure they are capable of fulfilling.

There are moments along their journey, and even before it starts, where you simply want to cry for these children and what they go through. There are also those moments where you will find yourself cheering them along. Readers will also fall in love with the non-human creatures that inhabit the land of Fillagrou. They are both beautifully drawn and described. All of the characters in this story were so well developed that as you read you feel like you are making a new friend, or perhaps an enemy. Either way, the depth of the characters and the world they inhabit draws the you in and makes opening this book more of an experience than just reading a story.

As a parent:

There are points in this story where bad language is used (as in cussing, cursing, however you say it in your neck of the woods) however it is not gratuitous. The language is there for a reason and is used sparingly to bring home the point. 

There are definitely themes in the story that older children/young adults can relate to. Some of the characters are subjected to abusive parenting, bullies, and a tyrannical warlord who wishes to take over every world in existence (Read: great big giant bully!) And then you have the little underdogs who rise up and find an inner strength that allows them to not only stand up for themselves, but others as well. Young readers will definitely come away from this story understanding bullying better. 

Don't get me wrong with my parenting points. This book is not preachy, it is an amazing tale of childhood traumas and triumphs. I would easily liken it to a Lord of the Rings lite version for kids! There is a quest to save the worlds. There are many insurmountable obstacles. And then there are the friendships that develop along the way. 

 My son is beginning the first Forts book this week. I will be sure to update with his personal opinions! 

I for one, can't wait to read the next book in the trilogy, “Forts: Liars and Thieves.” I am also going to send a copy to my children's school library, because other children should have the chance to be introduced to this amazing story!

The author and illustrator of the book can be found at his website:
Novak Illustration

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Birthrights Reviews Contest


I've had quite a few people purchase Birthrights since I released it, but not many have left reviews. As most authors know, reviews sell your book! So, that brings me to my contest...

I will be having a drawing for two separate $25 Amazon gift cards on June 1st. 

How do you enter the drawing you ask? 

It's funny you should ask, because I was about to tell you just that!

How to enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Step 1: You buy the e-book, it's only $1.50!

Step 2: You leave a review of the book on Amazon (if you want to go a step further and leave a review on Barnes & Noble too, I'll enter you twice!)

Step 3: You e-mail christine(dot)butler@moonlitdreams(dot)org with the following info: 
  • date of purchase
  • place of purchase (if other than Amazon - Birthrights is also Available through Barnes&NobleLulu.com, and the iBookstore)
  • a copy of the review (it doesn't have to be anything fancy).

Step 4: You must do all of this by May 31, 2011 in order to be entered into the drawing!

         TWO lucky winners will be announced on June 1, 2011! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Season of the Harvest - Review

Going into this book I had read that Season of the Harvest, by Michael R. Hicks, has been compared to Michael Crichton and I was skeptical of that statement, because Crichton was a favorite of mine. It turns out that it's a pretty accurate description. This book is an intense, edge of your seat, sci-fi thriller that sets out to prove that you really are what you eat, unfortunately! 

The book follows Jack Dawson, (yes, I immediately thought of Rose's lost love in the movie “Titanic” when I read the name too) an FBI agent, as he learns to deal with his own personal tragedies while the rest of the world unravels beneath his feet. Dawson is almost immediately dropped down the “rabbit hole” into a reality he never knew existed. He is quickly indoctrinated into the world of eco-terrorists, Harvesters, genetically modified food sources, and a plan that could obliterate the planet's life forms. Once the truth is out the clock begins ticking down as Dawson and a slew of other characters race to save the world. 

I could not put this book down once I picked it up. In fact, knowing I was doing the review, I went back to take notes and found myself re-reading it. At 150,000 words (nearly 400 pages if you're reading the paperback) this book is not a quick read, but you fail to notice the length as the fast pace takes you from scene to scene without missing a beat.

I give the author kudos for the amount of research he had to undertake in order to make this book believable. I found myself Googling things I had never even thought of before like the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and online auctions for defunct Titan missile silos. I feel as though I am coming away from this book not only thoroughly entertained, but with a higher I.Q. Okay, maybe not a higher IQ, but definitely some really cool tidbits of knowledge. As if being so engrossed in the book wasn't sign enough of the author's talent, after Googling Svalbard I realized how good Hicks truly is. The image I found of the seed repository there was exactly as I had pictured it thanks to the book's description.

Hicks certainly earned his five star review on Amazon.com from me. Season of the Harvest was smart, entertaining, and believable. If you enjoy your Sci-fi novels and/or thrillers check this book out and then hang on to the edge of your seat, because that is where you will be perched until you hit the last page!

Michael R. Hicks is also the author of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy series In Her Name. 

...or IN HER NAME (Omnibus edition), which contains the complete text of the three books, above...

Book 6 - IN HER NAME: DEAD SOUL (coming in fall 2011)

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Twin Prophecies: Rebirth

Twin Prophecies follows high school sophomores Violet Ross and Jack Morrow who are strangers until secrets begin to unfold that bring them together. They both struggle with abilities they have kept hidden from everyone around them. Violet is an empath, Jack can see the future when he touches people. As circumstances throw them together, they learn to trust one another and find they aren't as alone as each of them had thought.

"Guided by prophecies predicting the end of the world, the mysterious Dr. Tesla - who leads an alliance of supernatural beings - helps Jack and Violet come to terms with this secret world, control the growing powers within them, and face an unspeakable evil determined to possess their very souls."

When I first picked the book up and started reading I had my doubts. As I read the first page I thought to myself, 'oh no, she's going to describe the town and every little secret ever kept.' Then I turned the page and nearly laughed out loud. I was hooked from that point on!

This book is well written and flows easily from one scene to the next. Nina Perez did an outstanding job developing the story and has left me sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for more!

While waiting for the next book in the series you can always head over to Nina's blog: Blog it Out Bitch! and enjoy!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It's All About the Demons

Book Review - Beautiful Demon Series

In her first young adult fantasy series Sarra Cannon has created an amazing world filled with vibrant characters.

Harper Madison has exhibited strange abilities in the past. Those same abilities have gotten her kicked out of foster home after foster home. Her last chance before winding up in Juvie is Shadowford Home in Peachville, GA. Now, she just has to survive Peachville High School, where the cheerleaders are more than they appear to be. Harper will soon realize it was no coincidence she was brought to Peachville. This town has a secret past and it's somehow tied to her.

Throughout this series Harper learns a lot about herself, her abilities, and her personal conection to this town. She also finds herself torn between two guys, the star of the football team and the bad boy who seems to be shrouded in his own mysteries.

There are currently three books available in the series. Beautiful Demons, Inner Demons, and Bitter Demons.

This series has me hanging on waiting to see what will happen next in the life of Harper Madison and the rest of the Peachville residents. According to Sarra's website, http://www.sarracannon.com/, perhaps her readers won't have to wait too long for the fourth installment in the series, Shadow Demons. It is undergoing edits now.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Book of Lost Souls - Review

The Book of Lost Souls is a young adult fantasy novel by author Michelle Muto.  

Here is a copy of her book summary:

When teen witch Ivy MacTavish changes a lizard into her date for a Halloween dance, everything turns to chaos. And when no one is powerful enough to transform him back except Ivy, it sparks the rumor: Like father, like daughter. Ivy has heard it all before - that her father, who left when she was seven - was involved with the darkest of magic.

Making the rumors worse, someone uses an evil spell book to bring back two of history's most nefarious killers. Ivy's got a simple plan to set things right: find the real dark spell caster, steal the book, and reverse the spell. No problem! But she'll have to deal with something more dangerous than murderous spirits that want her and her friends dead: the school's resident bad boy and hotter-than-brimstone demon, Nick Marcelli. Nick's offering Ivy more than his help with recovering the missing book - he's offering her a way to ditch her scaly reputation as a lizard-lover. Demons are about as hard to handle as black magic, and as Ivy soon discovers, it's going to take more than a lot of luck and a little charm if she wants to survive long enough to clear her status as a dark witch, get a warm-blooded boyfriend, and have her former date back to eating meal worms before the week's end.

This book definitely had its own charm to go with a fresh new perspective!  It is a quick read, but the characters were engaging and the storyline kept me entranced from start to finish. This is a young adult novel I would definitely recommend to my 15 year old daughter and her friends and I believe it is appropriate for readers starting in middle school.

The story definitely gave closure, but left itself open to possible future books in a series.  I certainly hope that is the case, because I would love to read more of Ivy's adventures in the future.

Congratulations to Michelle Muto on her very entertaining first novel!  I hope to be seeing more from her in the future.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Hunger Games and Thor

I have been a bit busy working on my latest book so I haven't blogged as much as I generally like.  In an effort to catch up on some of the things I have been wanting to talk about I am just going to combine them here.  Before I get started, you may ask what The Hunger Games and Thor could possibly have in common?  Well, I'm going for the long stretch and saying the Hemsworth brothers (Chris is staring in Thor and Liam is cast to play Gale in The Hunger Games).  In reality, what they have in common is that I have just finished reading the series and watching Thor.  I do love my entertainment!

I have already blogged about The Hunger Games (the book).  I would like to add the rest of the series too.  This series was collectively the best piece of YA fiction I have read in a long time!  After reading the last book in the series I fell asleep thinking of Katniss Everdeen and the world in which she lived.  These books and the fantastic characters permeated my dreams for days.  I am putting the books on my children's must read list, especially before the movies come out.  A bit about the books:

The United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 13 districts. In the early days of Panem District 13 rebelled and was obliterated.  In order to keep the remaining 12 districts from fighting the rule of the Capital The Hunger Games are held each year as a reminder to the people of Panem about what rebellion costs them.  Each year, one girl and one boy between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen from each district by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. The televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced into an arena where they must fight to the death, while all the citizens of Panem are required to watch. Katniss Everdeen becomes the District 12 tribute for the 74th Hunger Games when her younger sister, Prim, is selected in the lottery and she volunteers to take her place.

"The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. In punishment for the uprising, each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate. The twenty-four tributes will be imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins."

“District Twelve. Where you can starve to death in safety,”

Bottom line:  If you haven't read the series yet, you need to!

THOR - The Movie

I took my three youngest children to see Thor in 3D.  This was a fantastic
popcorn movie.  The images were absolutely stunning and I am not just
referring to Chris Hemsworth's shirtless body.  Stan Lee, as always, is 
amazing!  Although his cameo was a quick one he was able to steal the
 show just a little bit! 

I figure for a movie like Thor, a male opinion was needed though so I
asked my eldest son what he thought of the movie and he had this to say:

"It was good."  When I asked what was good about it, he simply stated,

"all of it!"

I guess that about sums it up.  If you like action, adventure, a little budding
romance, and more action - then this is the perfect movie for you and a 
great start to a very promising summer movie season!