Wednesday, June 27, 2012

!Book Giveaway!

Oh, let me clarify that, I'm not giving away a book (not as of yet...anyway...) but there is a lovely giveaway going on HERE for a new author! It really couldn't hurt you to enter and share the love with a debuting writer, could it?

I already posted the link, but I shall again...go HERE to enter to win a copy of Miss Amy Dashwood's book, "Only a Novel".

Yet Another Period Drama Blog
And a blog link, just to be safe and sure you don't get lost.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Shadow Things

:My random thoughts:
Beautiful. Thats the one word to describe Jenny's novel. The emotion was pure cut, nothing overally dramatic. It was realistic, gripping, and heart rending all the same. Indi's change of life and believe wasn't a dramatic all of a sudden thing, but it wasn't drug out to such an extent of boredom. His broken hearted devotion to Sillvia when she cheated on him. Lenag's quiet love for Cynr even during his cruelets moments (though, her last straw might've broken when during the certian part towards the end). Llyeln's friendship during Indi's trials. Procyon's all around beautiful humility and love for everyone. The bitter truth of how you never really know a person until they are your enemy. But, I think the part that hit me the most, was the ending. I know (as a fellow writer's POV) that we want the best for our characters. Even when we are slaying their family, heaping grief on their heads, we want them to come out on the top. But Jenny fixed a perfect middle ground. Yes, from a Writer's POV, it would've been the best for Indi to gain his chieftianship, to have his Mother become a Christos follower, to have Lenag and Cynr live happily ever after. But, in the real world, does that always happen? Indi, Sillvia, Llyeln, Mylor, Tadc all came out on top. Lenag, I have yet to decide, but the rest did. Maybe not the shining top, maybe not the earthly beautiful mountian top, but they did get the best. That, I love the most.

:Publisher's Description:

The Legions have left the province of Britain and the Western Roman Empire has dissolved into chaos. With the world plunged into darkness, paganism and superstition are as rampant as ever. In the Down country of southern Britain, young Indi has grown up knowing nothing more than his gods of horses and thunder; so when a man from across the sea comes preaching a single God slain on a cross, Indi must choose between his gods or the one God—and face the consequences of his decision.

:info to know:
Author: Jennifer Freitag
My recommended age: 14+
Their recommended age: NA
Publisher: Ambassador International
Number of Pages: 193

Characters: As I stated a little without meaning to, every character was beautiful.
Except Angog. Hateful fellow.  I hated him with every fiber in me, he breathed, spoke, smelled, talked, walked and moved like a devilish snake.
Indi was remarkable. Just remarkable. His slow change of heart and character is worthy of so many blue ribbons. and gold medals, and praise. So much praise.
I couldn't help but love Sillvia from the start, and then she did a naughty thing, and I felt as broken hearted as Indi.
I loved Lenag as a sister, and cried at her fate in life, but lifted her up when she trumped each battle Satan threw at her.
Cynr broke my heart as he changed, but in his and Indi's story of friendship was a potent truth, 'You never really know a person under they are your enemy'.
Llyeln is a very much likeable fellow, and his spunky 'act' at the end really saved the day. While we Christians aren't called to violence, I can't remember God saying others cant save us either, did he?

I can't find anything to compare it to. Beautful, bittersweet, twisting, rolling, heartbreaking, soul lifting, sincere, and like a hymn.

Writing Style:
By George, Jenny's got it! I would go into detail, but I think I would just end up copying what I just said about Plot.

There is a trend I am not happy with in debut writers who aren't being published by big companies.  Third rate covers. It annoys the living daylight out of me. I know people say "Don't judge a book by its cover", but I'm sorry. I judge it very much. If you don't have the detail and attention to have a dashing, even if its simple, cover, how can I know you have that same detail for your writing?
And now, I'm sure I am scaring Jenny into thinking I hate her cover. XD
NOT AT ALL! I made that point to have a bigger applause on her and Abigail's (her sister) covers on their debut novels! They show the world that your first novel doesn't need a dazzling, huge company to have  dazzling cover art. congrats girls, congrats!

Ending: As with marytr books, people end up dying in the end. I've read enough Old Mennonite books to know that. But, I was happy with this ending. As Indi was about to get slain in a very Abraham way (though, for less lofty purposes then Isaac had before him) I had pretty much given up on any hope on his survival. I was pretty sure Cynr wasn't about to have a change of heart, and even suggestion Angog might would've been a joke. While I'm not going to tell what happened ("Spoilers!" as River Song says), I'll just say, it took me by happy surprise. ("The best kinda prize is a SURprise!" sorry. I'm just full of movie quotes today).
World Building: The Celtic world is a tricky one to navigate. You have so many superstitions, false truths, and lore, you can easily get wrapped up in it, for the worse. But Jenny was able to be a very succseful guide through, while getting you completely wet in the lore, but keeping you dry all the same.
Color:  Brown. Brown with pure white. Which, I find funny, since Tirna dreamed of a "Brown voice" which was soon revealed to be Procyon.
Language:  I think there was some swearing by their gods...maybe. If so, it was only once or twice.

Drugs and Drink:  Cynr gets drunk twice.

Romance and sexual content:  There was a slight adult content issue. I wasn't apposed to it, as the book isn't one you'd read to your kids as a bedtime story, and anyone old enough to be reading this should have the knowledge anyway. It wasn't the center peice of the book, nor was it focused on, nor in depth explained. I think the most biggest thing was close to the middle of the book, it is found out Sillvia was with another man. But, it wasn't 'seen' by the audiance, nor did Jenny really go in depth.  Sillvia repented, and never did it again. She was faithful to Indi all after that. And, sad as it was, it was kinda needed for her to know Indi's deep love for her. She expected him to hate her, and kill her, but he forgave, through his grief, he forgave his wayward wife. And then Sillvia knew his love for her wasn't shallow, but deep and rooted.

There are some scuffles, 2 children are killed, and the Christians are almost killed if it wasn't for a dear little fellow I adore.

Without the slightest doubt, without the littlest bit of hesitation, I give Mrs. Freitag's book a:
And, now listen up! For a limited time, The Shadow Things and Abigail's The Soldier's Cross will be $.99 on the Kindle Store! I highly reccomend you skipping right over there (If you have an e-reader) and buying both of the sister's lovely novels. Support debut writers, will ya?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ashes, Ashes

:My random thoughts:
Dystopian has really skyrocketed after The Hunger Games came out. It seems that's all people want to read, to write, and talk about. And the mass of Dystopian has seem like a cheap cut off of THG. But, Ashes, Ashes was different. While it still fit into the category, it was different. A breath of rather pleasant air.

:Publisher's Description:

A thrilling tale of adventure, romance, and one girl's unyielding courage through the darkest of nightmares.

Epidemics, floods, droughts--for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she's rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can't continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There's something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her.

:info to know:
Author: Jo Treggiari
  My recommended age: 12+
Their recommended age: 12+
Publisher: Scholastic Book Publishers
Number of Pages: 352

Characters: Oh my goodness, they were so real. While not stellar and they wont become classics, Ashes, Ashes' characters will stick with me, at least, forever. My biggest qualm was Sammy/Aiden. Aiden was just to perfect. He was every body's (except mine) perfect picture of a guy. Cute, strong, adoring. He had it all. And then, His brother Sammy (who is MY type of guy), Ugly, soft spoken, quiet, and always a shadow. It was almost like we were being made to like Aiden better. But, I have special powers, and didn't fall for it. Sammy For the World!

It was fast without being confusing, and it was timely without dragging.

Writing Style:
Mrs. Treggiara is a stellar writer. I'm hoping to see more from her! Her writing was pristine, her action clearly written, and her characters love able. One thing, was her Villain. Just so evil. Its easy to pull the insane villain card, and be done with it. But I would've liked more background behind the Doctor then we got.

What can grab your attention quicker then New York in shambles? My regards to the designer.

Ending: Worst part of the book for me. Ashes, Ashes really needs a sequel. I can't believe the Doc would just give up searching for Lucy that easily, especially since she knows where Lucy lives. And Sammy and Del just leave? poof? never heard from again? eh hem no, We need a sequel Mrs. Treggiari.

World Building: She could've made the flu been the Zombie thing, she couldn've just have fallen back on cliches. But Mrs. Treggiari didn't. It was really wonderful. She made a world where everything was falling apart, yet did it differently then everybody else is doing it.  

Color: Misty Grey with sunrise orange behind it.
Language: None to my remembrance. There might have been a 'crap' or 'darn'.

Drugs and Drink: none.

Romance and sexual content: Aiden and Lucy start feeling for each other (though Lucy wont admit it) pretty early. But, there is a problem. Aiden has a girlfriend already. So, we get some girl/girl drama from Del before she follows where her heart really yearns for. And then, we have Henry hitting on Lucy whenever he gets the chance. But, you can tell it is all in jest.

There are three scuffles with the Sweepers, but it's all quickly written. Nothing I wouldn't be afraid to watch on tv.

Ashes, Ashes is a wonderful book. Fun to read, and spell bounding. But it doesn't have the same power, lets say, The Hunger Games or other populars have. Jo Treggiari has a lot going for her, and I'm excited to see what else she comes out with!

*I got this book free of charge from Scholastic Press. I was not paid for my review. All thoughts are mine, and mine alone*