Friday, March 30, 2012

A Magical Must Read


Entangled made it onto the 2012 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge suggested reading list hosted by Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf.

My eyes lit up when I came across this challenge on the blogosphere. Last month I released a witchy book and have two more in the trilogy coming out. I grew up on fantasy and magic. (Along with Nancy Drew, The Babysitters Club, Anne of Green Gables, and a brief lapse into horror. I'll take my sleep back thank you very much!)



Melissa also reviewed Entangled and awarded it 4 out of 5 clocks – well worth your time! : )

"I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I started to read Entangled.  I knew that I loved the cover, I knew that I loved the premise, but I also knew that some times indie books can be less than impressive.  Let's just say that I need not have worried about this title.

I loved this book from the first page.  The mix of magic, romance, sibling rivalry, teen angst, friendship and loyalty made this a perfect read.  I kept turning the pages...wanting to know how this crazy resurrection spell gone wrong would be resolved...  Wanting to know how far Charlene would go to to regain 100% of her life...  And wanting to know how the strong and independent Graylee would manage to solve her predicament, maintain her morale compass and of course...decide what to do about Raj...

It's no secret that I have a bit of a thing for witches (I'll take them any day over Vampires, Werewolves,  or Zombies) and this book delivered on the witchcraft front.  However it was actually the inter-personal relationships in the story that really stole the show.  Charlene's relationships with her friends at school, Graylee's budding romance with Raj, a mother's love for her children that can cause her to turn a blind eye to the faults of one and be willing to do anything to save the other...

And most of all...I loved how Nikki wrote the relationship between the twins Charlene and Graylee.  It felt so true to me (and growing up with younger twin sisters gives me a good taste for what that kind of  kinship entails.  The love and hate..the codependency alongside the desire for independence.  How two people can be best friends and worst enemies all wrapped in one.  Nikki captured it all perfectly and then put her magical spin on it.

All of this may not be the main theme of the book.  I am not sure if it was the author's intention for the twins' relationship to be the focus of the novel...but for this reader it was.  And I can not wait for the second in the Spellbound series so that I can find out where the twins go from here."


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

12 Year Anniversary

Not much going on in Friday Harbor. The few restaurants we can eat at are closed Tuesday. The Hunger Games plays at one time only in our local theater – the time that Cosmo needs to go out and do his biz. (Hopefully they’ll play it for more than a week and we can catch it this weekend.) So, yeah, I’m kinda bummed.

But you know what makes everything better? Books!

I put together a 12 Book Wish List.

BOOKS

(1) Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood, $11.98 hardcover (An electronic copy only saves you a buck. That’s getting really annoying!)

(2) Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James, $9.57 paperback (Cheaper than the e-book. Again, what up?)

(3) First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones, $6.00 paperback (AGAIN - $2 cheaper than e-book)

(4) The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, $10.19 paperback (A friend of a friend wrote this in Alaska and it sounds really good! At the risk of repeating myself, the real book is – again – less than a digital download.)


E-BOOKS


(5) Anew: The Archers of Avalon by Chelsea Fine, $2.99 e-book (Check! Chelsea Fine saw this on my list and emailed to gift me a copy. What a great gal!)

(6) Whiskey Sour by J. A. Konrath, $4.61 e-book


PRE-ORDER


(7) Insurgent by Veronica Roth, $9.99 pre-order e-book (Releases May 1.)


(8) Beguiling the Beauty by Sherry Thomas, $7.99 pre-order e-book (Also releases May 1st. What a day! This is one of my favorite historical romance writers and she hasn’t had a book out in too long.)


OPTIONAL 

(9) Firelight by Sophie Jordan

(10) Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt


(11) The New Spaniards by John Hooper, paperback for underlying! (I need research books for Spellbound #3.)


(12) Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Adventure Begins Today!

After waiting for what feels like forever, Bob Friel’s epic tale of the Barefoot Bandit has been released today.

I feel particularly close to this story as I lived on Orcas Island at the tail end of Colton Harris-Moore’s crime spree in the San Juans. Then he was off across the country stealing boats, cars and planes, before landing with a big splash in the Bahamas where he was apprehended and returned to Washington State where he’s carrying out a 6.5 year jail sentence. 

Doing research for Bob was the opportunity of a lifetime, not to mention Seb and I made lifelong friends of him and his wonderful wife, Sandi. I am grateful to them both for inviting me to be part of the project.

And how cool is it to appear in an author’s acknowledgments?!

“Author and friend Nikki Jefford was an immense help on this book. While serving as research assistant, she made hundreds of calls to charm interviews and documents out of sources all across the country. Several times she and Seb also talked me into eating food that for some strange reason didn’t include meat.” 


For more on travel/adventure writer Bob Friel and up-to-date information on Colt (aka: The Barefoot Bandit), check out Bob’s website

Monday, March 12, 2012

YA Word Parade

I have launched a new bog. The YA Word Parade was created as a place to connect with and showcase all who love reading YA.

While there are countless author interviews across the blogosphere, you don’t see many Q&A’s with reviewers or designers – two instrumental groups who are part of what I like to call: The Reading Revival!

The YA Word Parade is a place for designers to show off their work, authors to spotlight their books, and book bloggers to share their unique spin on reviewing. 

I believe that for writers especially, reviewer interviews are a golden opportunity to take note of what the reading public is looking for in a novel.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

An American Writing in England

Suz Korb is the author of Eve Eden vs. The Zombie Horde: on tour March 19-26. She also organized and designed the Death by Chocolate anthology, which is how I ended up meeting the whimsical and always witty, Suz!



Q: For starters, how does a girl born in Hawaii and raised in Utah end up in England?

A: I met a British guy in America back in '99 and followed him over here. That particular relationship lasted a maximum of 2 years. Now I'm on my own with my 2 daughters and I have a hate/love relationship with England as the country I'm stuck in (for now) but also as the country I always wanted to live in. The midlands rock my world with their natural beauty.

Q: So, do you have to write on the left side of the page now? Just joking. What are the biggest differences about living in England (good & bad) compared to the States?

A: Haha! Luckily we start writing from the left side of the page in both the USA and the UK. As for driving on the wrong side of the road, it took me 2 years to get used to that. Not that I drove on the right side the whole time and crashed into everyone around here, I just didn't try driving here in England on the left for 2 whole years after I relocated to this country. Pretty much EVERYTHING is different about the USA and the UK. Even the language. You know what they say, two countries separated by a common language.


Q: How has living abroad inspired your writing (and changed your habits)?

A: Living in England has opened up a world of words for me. My vocabulary has expanded immensely, which is perfect for fiction writing. Win.

Q: Any notable difference between British readers/writers and American?

A: To say there are SOME differences in writing for an American audience and a UK readership is putting it lightly. I write novels that are for an American readership and it's a struggle to keep the American lingo going when all I hear are British accents all around me 24/7. Basically, I watch a ton of American TV shows and movies to keep up on the American dialect that is becoming foreign to me! And of course it helps to correspond with friends and great authors such as yourself, Nikki!

Q: What’s scarier? British zombies or American zombies?

A: Definitely British zombies. Especially if we're talking movies. The film 28 Days springs to mind. That movie has fast zombies in it, and everyone knows how much scarier fast zombies are than slow decrepit zombies. Amirite? Course I am ;)

Q: Describe your target audience. (What books do they read? Movies do they watch?)

A: I write paranormal young adult romance novels for teens and women readers. Although, guys can read my books too, if they enjoy supernatural adventure and much kick-assery. And who doesn't enjoy that?! 

As for movies. Well, The Hunger Games is coming out soon and I'm hugely looking forward to that! I presume readers of my work appreciate similar stories. I sure hope The Hunger Games movie lives up to the books!



Eve Eden vs. The Zombie Horde is available at Amazon & Smashwords.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

From My Library & On My Kindle (1)

“From My Library” and “On My Kindle” is a spin-off on “In My Mailbox” a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. This is the non-reviewers version. I enjoy seeing what other people are reading and sharing my reads, too.

Book Two and Three from different series. I was sucked into The Hunger Games and then Catching FireMockingjay is slower so far (I’m on page 215). It’s sick, but there’s nothing like the anticipation for the games, not to mention I’m a bit in love with Peeta and what a sorry state he’s in!

Funny Story: Last November a friend started telling me about The Hunger Games. I said, “I’ll never read it so go ahead and tell me everything that happens.” Famous last words. I read Book One and Two in January and loved every page! (Even though I knew everything that was going to go down in Book One. Spoilers don’t necessarily spoil the book.)

The Infernal Devices series have taken cover art to an ethereal level. I’m an inks and fonts girl and I’d like to know how they got the light to reflect off the cover as though lit from within. Stunning! So far, I like Clockwork Angel better than Clockwork Prince, but I’m only on page 75.
First, I have to share the pic my author friend Suz Korb sent me after she downloaded my novel to her Kindle. Is that not cool?

Cause I couldn’t resist: I downloaded a sample of The Girls’ Guide to Dating Zombies. I think I would’ve appreciated it more if I were single or dating a… well, zombie. Domestic bliss makes it difficult to lament navigating the dating wasteland. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Bridget Jones’s Diary in my day (and still do – zombies can’t hold a candle to a Darcy)!



And speaking of zombies, aforementioned Suz Korb is the author of Eve Eden v The Zombie Horde. Check out my interview with her, “An American Writing in England”, this coming week.