A shrewd princess whose father is plotting against her. A loyal servant on a quest to avenge his family. A streetwise demon smoke hunter in desperate need of money. A charming thief whom everyone is hunting. They are four teenagers whose lives would never intersect, until a war between kingdoms bubbles up, and the dangerous truth about demon smoke intertwines all their fates. It’s a tangled web of political intrigue, shifting alliances, and forbidden love, in a world where sometimes no amount of magic can keep you safe.
A princess. A soldier. A servant. A demon hunter. A thief. When we last saw them, this unlikely group was heading into the Northern Territory of the kingdom of Pitoria, on the run from the sadistic and power-hungry King Aloysius of Brigant. The Smoke Thieves have discovered that demon smoke is not only an illegal drug used for pleasure, but in fact, when taken by children, demon smoke briefly gives its users super-human strength. Aloysius’ plan is simple and brutal: kill the demons for their smoke, and use that smoke to build an unstoppable army of children to take over Pitoria, Calidor, and then the rest of the world. The Smoke Thieves are the only ones who understand this plan–but can they stop it? Catherine, Aloysius’ daughter, is seen as a traitor from all sides; Tash is heartbroken after the loss of her one friend and sees nothing left for her in the human world; Edyon is wanted for murder; March is carrying the secret of his betrayal of his new love; Ambrose is out for revenge–and all the while, the demons have plans of their own…
Come back to my blog later this week for my full review of The Demon World.
Sally Green lives in Cheshire, England. She has had various jobs from her first paper-round to a career as an accountant, but in 2010 she started writing a novel and that changed her life. She still runs most days despite several attempts to give it up.
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Book 1: Smoke Thieves
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Welcome to The Sperpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars blog tour! Read on to learn more about this beautifully illustrated graphic novel by C.S. Johnson, and a chance to win a copy for yourself!
The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars
Publication Date: November 7th, 2018
Genre: Manga Style/ Graphic Novel
Length: 30 Pages
A tiresome task.
A deceptive dragon.
A prince that changes everything.
Ophiuchus is a celebrated warrior of the Celestial Kingdom and a warrior among the Stars. He has been always been a dutiful servant of the Prince of Stars. So when the prince asks him to watch over the crafty serpent, Naga, Ophiuchus agrees. But as time passes and discouragement—both from Naga and others—Ophiuchus wonders if the Prince of Stars was right in asking him to take on the burdens of his task.
Will Ophiuchus honor his duty, or give into his heart’s weariness?
C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me
Egyptian goddess follows her visions to Ireland, and finds more than she ever bargained
An abandoned Egyptian goddess follows her visions to Ireland, and finds
more than she ever bargained for…
Bat Sitru used to be a goddess. Well, technically she still is. But
with no followers, no temples, and only the overly mischievous cat-goddess
Bastet as a friend, it’s difficult to lay claim to the title.
When her visions—once faded—return to her, they point to a land in the
north, one of green slopes, mist, and rainbows. She is shown a hope for comfort
and home, something that has long been missing from her existence.
Once there, she begins to wonder if her visions have led her wrong.
She’s cold, damp, and her new landlords, the O’Loinsigh brothers, are not
particularly welcoming. On top of that, she is confronted by a dead leprechaun
on the rear stoop, a dagger that sucks the life of immortals, and territorial
As past secrets collides with the present, will Bat be able to carve a
place for herself in this new land? Or will this goddess be forgotten once
Please note: A previous, and shorter, version of this story was
released in the anthology Shamrocked. This is also a slow-burn RH.
A storm is brewing,
and this goddess does not like the damp…
Bat Sitru, an Egyptian goddess, is content in her new life in Sligo,
Ireland. She tends the bar, participates in all the sing-songs she cares to,
and is making new friends. The only thing she could wish to change is her
relationship with the O’Loinsigh brothers—they’ve grown distant, and she’s
afraid to upset the careful balance the four of them have found.
Before she can figure out what to do about that distance, an invitation
arrives from the head of the O’Loinsigh family, leading to the revelation of
long-held secrets and her visions come to life once more. What she will need to
face this time is nothing so simple as a mad woman out for revenge—old legends
are stirring as an ancient evil seeks to return.
Along with Dub, Mell, Shar, the reluctant Finn, and a host of other
outcasts, Bat will confront a growing conspiracy of fae, gods, Fomoiri, and an
evil long locked away. All she wants is to enjoy her strawberries and tea, and
maybe a kiss or two, but sometimes a goddess has to do…
Well, a goddess has to do what a goddess has to do.
Bat Sitru and her
merry band of fae are officially on the run…
Or are they on the hunt? It’s hard to tell. Separated from Dub and
Shar, Bat can only concentrate on getting through the next steps of their
piece-meal plan to defeat Balor. They have all the tools to defeat the would-be
god, now they just have to pull it all together.
With new and unexpected allies, as well as a horde of sluagh on their
heels, Bat and her boys race to find Tir Hudi and the cauldron before their
enemies know they’re there.
In the end, it will be up to her, that forgotten goddess, to restore
the balance and prevent the world from descending into chaos…
Note: Yes, for those who have not read the first two books yet, this is
a “why choose” type romance.
Cecilia Randell was born in Austin, Texas and grew up in a home with her very own Cheerful Bulldozer. After some brief adventures in various places such as California and Florida, she returned to her hometown and took up a career in drafting. A lifetime lover of words and stories, the transition to writing was two-fold: a comment from a relative and a short line from another author, saying to write what you want to read.
And thus the
new adventure was born.
Now she can
be found most days curled up in a comfy chair and creating new tales to share
I was looking forward to finishing the Wanderer series so much, but then I was hit with so much disappointment. I couldn’t believe how childish Jason and Helle acted in this novel, and it totally took me out of the story. I felt like I was watching two teenagers in an “on again off again” relationship, and they were supposed to be literal soulmates.
Jason is visiting his aunt Juliet who was hurt by Sam in a
car accident and burnt all over her body. He is distraught by seeing his aunt
in so much agony for months, and moves with Helle closer to her hospital so
that he can spend all day sitting with her. Helle is ok with this at first, but
then she starts to get jealous as he spends more time with her and won’t even give
her a second glance when he comes home. Helle knows Juliet is in love with
Jason, but Jason thinks that Helle is being selfish. He couldn’t think of being
intimate with Helle after seeing Juliet’s mangled body in the hospital day
after day, but he can’t figure out the words to explain this to Helle.
Honestly, they were both in the wrong a lot for some parts
of this book, but Helle was definitely pretty annoying. She barely even tried
to understand what Jason was going through after having to see how bad Juliet really
was hurt, and simply acted as if he was cheating on her. So, she decides to go
hang out with some other guy to get Jason back. Even if Jason’s aunt is weirdly
infatuated with him, hanging out with your dying aunt all day is not the same as
hanging out with some random guy all day. She wanted to act as if she was so
lonely, so bored in this new town, but she never made the effort to go and see
Juliet. She didn’t even join any sort of women’s groups to fill the time in her
day, she just sits at the house sulking all day and then sulks more when Jason
doesn’t come home ready to jump in bed with her. Now, Jason isn’t completely
off the hook. At some points in the book Helle really was insecure about their
relationship and needed Jason’s reassurance, but he didn’t even try to give it
to her. He was just pushing her away all the time, never explaining his
feelings, just “knowing” that she would always stay around for him no matter
what. Then when she isn’t there waiting for him anymore, he is shocked.
I wouldn’t have been as mad if the drama had ended there,
but it seemed like another 50-100 pages of back and forth. Literally most of
the book was just filled with the “perfect lovers” arguing over things that
could have been eased if not solved by simple communication. Of course, Sam
made an appearance every now and then, but they were too busy arguing to really
deal with him. I feel like Sam could have easily had someone sweep up Helle
while Jason was at the hospital, but nope, everything was drawn out.
The thing that really saved this book for me was I think the
end of the novel. I’m not sure which event was the most exciting for me, but I
just remember being on the edge of my seat once the random relationship drama
was over. The “final battle” was definitely exciting to read, nothing to
complain about there!
Overall, I wouldn’t really recommend or warn against this
book. I suppose if you LOVE the first book in this series and have to figure
out what happens to the characters in the end that you might enjoy this one.
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary
Welcome to the Bloodlust tour, book #2 in Pixie Britton’s YA Science Fiction series, Kill or Cure. I have loads of fun stuff for you today! An exclusive excerpt, book trailer, a FREE book, and a chance to win a signed copy of Bloodlust! Wait, rewind…did I say FREE BOOK? I sure did! Read on!
Bloodlust (Kill or Cure #2)
Publication Date: February 21st, 2019
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/ Dystopian/ Zombies
He could save the world, or destroy it…
The virus that has swept the Earth hasn’t consumed Tommy, yet, but as his hunger for human flesh takes hold, his humanity vanishes behind the bloodlust of an infected. It’s up to seventeen year old Alyx and her friends to find answers. But saving her little brother isn’t their only problem. Lurking in the shadows of Alhena is the formidable General Sinter, hell-bent on capturing the boy with unrivalled superhuman strength for his own personal gains. With limited options, Alyx has no choice but to risk everything to protect him. A choice that she could live to regret
Kill or Cure: Bloodlust is the second book in the Kill or Cure series. Brimming with suspense, romance and heart pumping action!
“A look of intrigue flickers across Tyron’s face as he tries to take measure of this wild girl standing in the centre of his cage. To the untrained eye, Winter looks like an odd wild girl from the forest, and you wouldn’t necessarily know how deadly she is from first impressions. She’s slight in stature yet athletic and nimble, and it’s not until you’ve spent significant time with her that you can fully appreciate how skilful she is. Every single movement is deliberate and focussed, like she could switch into warrior-mode at the flick of a switch.
I can’t help but grin internally when I realise that this monster-man has just met his match and he has absolutely no idea.”
Excerpt From: Pixie Britton. “Kill or Cure: Bloodlust.” iBooks.
Kill or Cure is a YA romance-infused sci-fi novel.
It focuses on human relationships in an undead, apocalyptic world.
A girl who will stop at nothing to protect her brother.
In a dystopian world ravaged by infection, society as we know it has fallen to the mouths of the dead. The remaining fragments of civilisation survive in walled compounds, scattered in the depths of the countryside. When her little brother becomes sick with a suspected flu virus, Alyx Silverthorne will do anything to keep Tommy alive.
With limited medical supplies and only herbal alternatives, his prospects of surviving this mystery illness are bleak. But saving Tommy is just the beginning. The infected are not the only monsters that exist in this new world, and human nature can be more destructive than the dead.
In a race against time, Alyx and her best friend Will stop at nothing to protect him, even from the same people that swore to protect them all.
Kill or Cure is a dynamic, multifaceted story of teenage love and gut wrenching loss in a dystopian world.
Download your FREE copy of the Last Sacrifice: A Kill or Cure story today…
A world infected. A man’s quest to save his family. One impossible choice.
The mission was supposed to be simple; to find survivors and kill the infected. But when Lieutenant, Joe Hudson, discovers that the home of his family has been destroyed by the infected, he’s left with an impossible decision. A choice that could change his life forever.
With limited ammunition and morale hitting an all-time low, the survival of the squad rests on a knife edge. Joe has no choice but to turn to his girlfriend, Suzie, a fellow soldier and secret lover for support. Together they have to cross a line to save his family, but even in this new world where the dead roam the earth, there are some lines that should never be crossed. Joe’s loyalty to his squad will be tested and the ultimate sacrifice will be made.
Set in the same world as the thrilling YA series Kill or Cure, follow Victory Squad in this fast paced prequel. Filled with love, heartbreaking loss and zombie guts.
Age Range: 10 – 14 years
Grade Level: 5 – 9
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Walker Books US (June 25, 2019)
Praise for QUEEN OF THE SEA
The art, reminiscent of Raina Telgemeier’s style, creates levity during perilous situations. The book is dense with dialogue, often feeling more like a work of prose than a graphic novel. As a result, this complex work will be more accessible to those familiar with graphic novels…Certain to charm sophisticated graphic novel devotees. —School Library Journal (starred review)
Meconis offers an atmospheric alternate history inspired by the childhood and succession of Queen Elizabeth I in this quietly ambitious graphic novel…Art in soft, earthy colors brings this singular story to life in styles ranging from simple line drawings to elaborately styled text illuminations. The island world is richly developed, both in its physical particulars and its close-knit community (fascinating digressions into topics such as convent time, hand gestures used at table, and chess and embroidery flesh out daily life), and Margaret proves herself an endearing heroine with a strong voice full of humor and wonder. Her perspective transforms a storm-wracked rock into a vibrant world of hidden treasures. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Meconis’ humor and storytelling gifts here wed seamlessly with her evocative pen-and-ink and gouache illustrations, which are rendered in warm earth and sea tones and brim with movement, expressively capturing even Margaret’s interior monologues. With its compelling, complex characters and intrigue-laden plot, this will have readers hoping it’s only the first of many adventures for Meconis’ savvy heroine. —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Weaving faith, love, statecraft, and self-discovery into a tale of palace intrigue relocated to the halls of a convent on a remote island at sea, Dylan Meconis uses the trappings of the history we know to create a high-stakes adventure in an alternate past that feels so detailed and so familiar, you’ll find yourself wondering why you never read about it in school. This beautiful book swept me away from the first page.” —Kate Milford, author of the Greenglass House series
“Dylan Meconis is at the absolute top of her game. A gorgeously rendered, lovingly realized alternate history, full of personal revelations in the midst of political intrigue. A tale of growing up, and of understanding that the world is larger and stranger than it once seemed. (Plus it has a Terrible Recipe for Terrible Gruel.)” —Ben Hatke, author-illustrator of the Zita the Spacegirl series
“This is the book I was always trying to get my hands on in high school that never seemed to materialize. An adventure to lose yourself in, with an attention to historical detail to please the nerdiest among us. I fell easily and completely into this world and its characters, knowing I was safe in Dylan Meconis’s hands, and I’m really excited for more people to find out what I’ve known for a long time—that she is one of a kind.” —Kate Beaton, author-illustrator of Hark! A Vagrant
Cult graphic novelist Dylan Meconis offers a rich reimagining of history in this hybrid novel loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary.
When her sister seizes the throne, Queen Eleanor of Albion is banished to a tiny island off the coast of her kingdom, where the nuns of the convent spend their days peacefully praying, sewing, and gardening. But the island is also home to Margaret, a mysterious young orphan girl whose life is upturned when the cold, regal stranger arrives. As Margaret grows closer to Eleanor, she grapples with the revelation of the island’s sinister true purpose as well as the truth of her own past. When Eleanor’s life is threatened, Margaret is faced with a perilous choice between helping Eleanor and protecting herself.
You can purchaseQueen of the Sea at the following Retailers:
Margaret has lived on an island with nuns and servants her entire life. The nuns are of the Elysian order, and their job is to pray for the sailors that sail on the waters near their island. They also take in those that need shelter who come to the island, and help those who are washed ashore from a shipwreck. Margaret knows that she couldn’t have been born on the island, but none of the nuns are willing to tell her where she came from. She was also the only kid on the island, at least until William came. This book tells the story of her adventures on this island as she learns about her family, true family, and friendship.
I love graphic novels, but I have never read a historical fiction graphic novel. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but this book completely blew me away. Margaret was such a lively character, she reminded me of the girls that I grew up reading in the classic novels at the library like Pippi Longstocking and A Little Princess. She was full of life and lit up the rooms she was in, even on an island full of nuns and servants. She was imaginative, but she wanted to grow up to be a nun so she could help people. She never even thought of life off the island until more people from the mainland started coming to the island, but then she couldn’t stop thinking about it. Even when she thought about mainland life, she didn’t start to rebel against the people who had raised her. Which I took as a breath of fresh air. Not all preteen/teenaged girls are crazy and rebellious, some really enjoy their lives like Margaret did. You can be imaginative without trying to run away every 2 seconds.
This had to be one of the most fun yet even still historically accurate graphic novels I’ve read yet. I learned small things about living on an island full of nuns in the 16th century as I read about Margaret’s life there as an outsider. There were traditions that these nuns upheld, stories that these nuns told, that I had never even heard about as a non-Catholic Christian. Even so, the book wasn’t so forcibly religious that a non-Christian person would feel uncomfortable reading it. The historic religious events were woven in with brilliant storytelling and beautiful pictures.
I read this entire book in about 2-3 hours, while on buses and trains commuting to and from NYC. This book was so addictive that it took me out of that uncomfortable and annoying commute and made me think about a completely new world while I was reading it. I can say that I definitely have not had that experience while reading a graphic novel before.
I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a new historical fiction book or a new graphic novel to enjoy. I cannot wait to read more by this author!
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books.
Photo Content from Dylan Meconis
I’ve been writing and illustrating my own stories since the first grade, and I’ve been making comic books since middle school (no, really! Seventh grade was a tough year for me socially, so I had a lot of time to draw). I started my first book-length comic (graphic novel) in high school.
Unlike a lot of people who become professional artists and authors, I didn’t go to art school or a creative writing program in college. Instead, I mostly studied history, literature, philosophy, and French in the College of Letters at Wesleyan University. This means I have a brain full of weird facts, old books, strange art, and the extremely useful ability to read The Tales of Canterbury in the original Middle English. Except for the Middle English bit, it’s all come in very handy for writing and drawing historical fiction and fantasy.
I first started to get paid for making comics when I was still in college, when my first graphic novel was published online. After college, I worked as a graphic designer and visual communications consultant (which means “person who helps teach adults complicated stuff in cool new ways using pictures”). I’ve worked with Fortune 500 companies, global charities, technology companies, libraries, and a lot of other interesting organizations. I’ve made illustrations, animations, information graphics and cool presentations, explaining everything from how microchips work to the ways that clean drinking water can help communities in the third world.
For the last ten years, though, I mostly work as a writer, comic book creator and illustrator! Sometimes I make books totally by myself, and sometimes I get to team up with other writers or artists. It can be lots of fun, but it can also be very hard work. Luckily, I never get tired of making new stories.
Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut The Written in 2010, Ben has released a range of award-winning fantasy novels, including the weird western Bloodrush and the epic standalone The Heart of Stone. He is also the author of the brand new Chasing Graves Trilogy.
Book one of The Emanska Series
His name is Farden. They whisper that he’s dangerous. Dangerous is only the half of it.
Something has gone missing from the libraries of Arfell. Something very old, and something very powerful. Five scholars are now dead, a country is once again on the brink of war, and the magick council is running out of time and options.
Entangled in a web of lies and politics and dragged halfway across icy Emaneska and back, Farden must unearth a secret even he doesn’t want to know, a secret that will shake the foundations of his world. Dragons, drugs, magick, death, and the deepest of betrayals await.
Welcome to Emaneska.
Book one of The Chasing Graves Trilogy
Welcome to Araxes, where getting murdered is just
the start of your problems.
Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.
They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to be its ruler is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.
While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the emperor’s throne in Araxes’ cutthroat game of power. The dead gods whisper from corpses, a soulstealer seeks to make a name for himself with the help of an ancient cult, a princess plots to purge the emperor from his armoured Sanctuary, and a murderer drags a body across the desert, intent on reaching Araxes no matter the cost.
Only one thing is certain in Araxes: death is just the beginning.
Book 1 of The Scarlet Star Trilogy
Prime Lord Hark lies dead in a pool of his own
The Empire is in turmoil. The Emerald Benches are leaderless. Queen Victorious calls for justice. But none of this matters to Lord Hark’s thirteen year-old son, Tonmerion, who abruptly finds himself orphaned and now in the charge of an estranged aunt. An undertaker, no less, who lives far across the Iron Ocean, at the very brink of the Endless Land and all known civilisation. In a place they call Fell Falls, Wyoming.
In the dusty frontier town of Fell Falls, Merion finds no silverware, no servants, no plush velvet nor towering spires. Only dust, danger, and the railway. Tonmerion has only one friend to help him escape the torturous heat and unravel his father’s murder. A fae warrior named Rhin. An embittered, twelve-inch tall outcast of the Undering whose past refuses to let go of him.
But there are darker things at work in Fell Falls, and not just the railwraiths or the savages baying for blood. Secrets lurk in Merion’s bloodline.
Secrets that will redefine him.
Heart of Stone
Merciless. Murderer. Monster. He has been called many names in his time.
Built for war and nothing else, he has witnessed every shade of violence humans know, and he has wrought his own masterpieces with their colours. He cared once, perhaps, but far too long ago. He is bound to his task, dead to the chaos he wreaks for his masters.
Now, he has a new master to serve and a new war to endure. In the far reaches of the Realm, Hartlund tears itself in two over coin and crown. This time he will fight for a boy king and a general bent on victory.
Beneath it all he longs for change. For something to surprise him. For an end to this cycle of warfare.
Every fighter has a last fight. Even one made of stone.
This is my stop during the blog tour for My Best Friend Runs Venus by Katrina S. Forest. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 3 till 16 June. See the tour schedule here.
My Best Friend Runs Venus By Katrina S. Forest Genre: Science Fiction Age category: Middle Grade Release Date: June 1, 2019
At 12.9 years old, number-obsessed Kade Walker has never heard of death. Literally. But neither has anyone else he knows. Kade is one of hundreds of kids “living” across the solar system through robotic avatars while their real bodies sleep in pods on Earth. Unfortunately, robot bodies can be hacked.
One day during an (innocent!) experiment, Kade unwittingly breaks a major security wall and releases an infamous hacker. The madwoman targets all the royal avatars, including Kade’s best friend, Princess Tamika of Venus.
If Kade and Tamika don’t want to become the hacker’s puppets, they’ve got to stop her fast–even if it means waking up on Earth to fight with bodies they never realized could be hurt.
You can find My Best Friend Runs Venus on Goodreads
This book includes some artwork, check out a few of the illustrations that are included in the book below:
About the Author:
Katrina S. Forest is a teacher by day, author by any-other-time-she-can-get. Her work has sold to a variety of magazines, ranging from Flash Fiction Online to Highlights to Children. She loves nerdy conventions and believes video games can be a force of creative good instead of evil.
Release Date: June 4th 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young
Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the
only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the
perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now
that day has finally come.
But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest
childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah
must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors
awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.
From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the
eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a
lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding
belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.
The Beholder by Anna Bright is a fantasy novel about a girl
named Selah. In Potomac, Selah has been preparing to marry from a young age.
She knows that she wants to marry her best friend Peter, but he rejects her.
Her stepmother says that she must cross the Atlantic to find a suitor and
marry. Selah doesn’t want to have to deal with stuffy court protocol for months
in order to find an equally stuffy husband, but she doesn’t have a choice. Her
father’s health is also failing, and her godmother seems to be wary of her
stepmother’s true motives behind sending her across the ocean. Selah embarks on
her adventure, determined to come home as soon as possible.
Selah was definitely an admirable character. The only thing
I disliked about her was that she seemed to fall almost head over heels for a
specific suitor of each region, almost completely forgetting any suitors from
any previous regions. Peter, her one true love, is sitting on the backburner by
the end of the novel. But I understand that this is her first true experience
with “dating” or “courting,” so it makes sense that she would be a little
flighty. I forgave her flightiness almost completely after learning about how
down-to-earth she was. Despite the fact that she was a royal, she loved to
serve her people. She would help keep up the community garden and wouldn’t mind
getting her hands dirty for others at all, but her trip to the Atlantic forced
her to give up these things almost entirely. Most of the novel was focused on
her fighting what was “proper” in order to do what she thought was right.
I wanted to learn the story of each individual character in
this game. When Selah travels across the Atlantic, she has to pick a suitor
that will satisfy her Council, her Stepmother, and ultimately, herself. This
means that she has to get close to each individual suitor in order to pick the
best one. Even though the story kind of bombards you with a lot of suitor names
when she is first on the boat, the story starts to make sense almost
immediately once Selah actually starts meeting the suitors. You will be able to
have a connection with each one as you read this story.
The story moves smoothly. There is a bit of slowdown around
the middle, but it only lasts for around 10-20 pages before it picks back up
again. I read the book over the course of one day, and I didn’t have many
issues putting it down and remembering where I was when I decided to start
reading again. No large time-skips, nothing to make the story confusing to the point
where I couldn’t finish it.
Overall, this was a great YA fantasy novel. I would
definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a new book in that genre, or anyone
looking for a YA romance novel with a dramatic storyline.
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books
I believe in woods, mountains, highways, cobblestones, roller
coasters, dancing, concerts, cherry Pop Tarts, books, and magic.
When I’m not reading or writing on my couch, I’m dragging my
husband off on an adventure, communing with Salem (my kitten/spiritual
familiar), or causing trouble at One More Page Books, where I work.
Born Under Fire is a historical novel that tells the story of a girl coming of age and her drive to excel despite the devastating effects of long-term war. Born in Jerusalem under British rule in 1928, Shula grows up in a world in turmoil as Hitler rises to power and nations enter into war. Amid a landscape of ancient stone ruins next to modern Bauhaus architecture, and desert scrub ending at newly verdant farmlands, Shula grows into her independence as the State of Israel is born. Based on historical documents and events, Born Under Fire is also about the context surrounding the founding of the State of Israel, as well as the horrors and dangers of growing up in a conflict zone. Shula battles grief and depression due to the shattering events affecting her, her family, and the entire world. Despite this struggle, her resilient spirit enables her to reach great heights as a concert pianist..
Born of Fire by Rina Z. Neiman is a historical fiction
coming-of-age story about a young Jewish girl named Shula growing up during the
founding of the State of Israel. Jewish people are being targeted throughout
the world, and soon her hometown of Jerusalem is not even safe. Shula just wants
to be able to live peacefully with her family, especially her best friend and
older brother Avraham, but he wants to go off to be in the first Jewish Air
Force. When her town starts being bombed, her family realizes nowhere is safe.
Shula tries to make the best of this horrible situation by continuing to pursue
her dream of being a concert pianist.
I didn’t know anything about this war between Arabs and
Jewish people in Jerusalem and Israel, and so I came into this book completely
blind. This book can be a bit confusing when explaining events, as everything is
told from the POV of Shula. When the adults hide things from the children in
order to not scare them, the reader doesn’t know the complete story behind what
is going on either. I wish that there had been at least one or two adult POVs
in the story so that I could have learned the truth behind some of the events going
on in that time of history.
I loved that Shula was not some lovesick young teenaged
girl. There was a love interest in this story, but he was not the main focus at
all. He wasn’t even involved in the story for quite a few chapters. This was Shula’s
story about her family and her dreams, and it was not hijacked by any random
love interests. I also loved Shula’s parents. They were so selfless in the name
of their children. When Shula wanted to learn how to play piano, they made sure
that she got a piano and piano lessons. They wanted to give their children
their best lives even though they were quite literally living in a warzone.
Even though this novel was historical fiction, I felt as if
the characters were real by the time I got to the end. I wanted to learn more
about their lovies after the novel ended, I wish that there was a sequel to
I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for an
emotional and realistic historical fiction novel.
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books
“I went to high school in Israel in the late 50’s and heard many personal stories about the early years and the struggle for independence. Your book makes these years really come alive. Also, most of my relatives’ tales were set in Kibbutzim and rural Palestine. Your book describes life in Tel Aviv as just as heroic. Lastly, I share your mother’s love for Yemenite embroidery and am happy that your book calls attention to this beautiful art form.”
“This lovely coming of age story provides a view into the challenges, conflicts and dilemmas facing the European Jews fleeing Hitler’s reach and trying to make Palestine their home. It pulls no punches and honestly acknowledges the dilemmas posed by the creation of this new country, but as it tells the story from the eyes of a young girl, we see those intricacies as she would have seen them, allowing the reader an understanding not only of historical events that readers may not be aware of (the proposed partition, the ethical dilemma posed by Jewish terrorist groups, etc.) but also of the emotional journey of these refugees and their children. This story is an important reminder of the effects of war and provides a critical piece of history necessary for understanding the world today.”
Nima M. Vincent via Amazon.com, 5 out of 5 star review
“This story drew me in from the very first page. The vivid descriptions of smell, sights and taste, longing, disappointment and joy, evoked real emotion and made me wish I were sitting at the kitchen table with Shula and her aunts. I appreciated the many history lessons tucked into the adventures, and was relieved to discover details about this time period without being burdened by the author’s politics.”
Rina Z. Neiman is a writer, event producer and public relations professional. Born Under Fire is based on the true story of her mother, Shulamit Dubno Neiman, a Sabra, a musician and one of the first generation of modern-day Israelis. Rina lives in Marin County, California with her husband and son. This is her first novel.
What goes better in the morning than a muffin! So, grab your coffee and join us today as we celebrate the launch of Rina Z. Neiman’s book BornUnder Fire. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.
Make sure you stop by Karen’s blog today where you can read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about how to manage time and distractions during the book writing process. If you are writing a book – or thinking about writing one – this one is a post you don’t want to miss!
If you love historical fiction, make sure you visit Anthony Avina’s blog today where he features author Rina Z. Neiman’s blog post about how she researched her historical fiction novel Born Under Fire. You won’t want to miss this!
Are you interested in writing history for young adults? If you are, you will absolutely want to visit Jess’ blog today where author Rina Z. Neiman talks about writing history for young adults and what grabs them and what loses them.
Feeling bookish today? Make sure you stop by Anjanette’s Bookworm blog where you can read her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s powerful historical fiction book Born Under Fire plus read an interview with the author.
Interviewing someone for your book? Make sure you visit Madeline Sharples’ blog today where Rina Z. Neiman talks about how to conduct interviews with people who are (and who are not) willing to talk with you.