Tag Archives for " young adult "

Nov 07

An Interview with Jessica Therrien

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts

You’ve seen a few posts here about Jessica’s series Children of the Gods. I thought you might like to know more about her, so I posed a few questions and she was kind enough to answer. Here it is, your chance to delve into the mind of a writer. Don’t worry, I’ll hold your hand…it’s not as scary as some would have you think. Or maybe it is. Let’s find out:

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I started writing OPPRESSION in 2009 around the same time I accepted a boring government desk job. I needed a little creativity to balance me out. I was 24.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

This is a fun one because my job is looking after my two wild boys (ages 2.5 & 9 months). The real question is, what is my writing schedule like between the tantrums, diaper changes and running around the house pretending to be fighting Thor with a Captain America shield. The answer? It’s random. Very very random.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Maybe I’m just used to mommy chaos, but it is very hard for me to write if there is peace and quiet.

What does your family think of your writing?

They are overly supportive. I should probably pay them for their enthusiasm. They’re like my personal marketing department.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

About a million things that I never actually get to do because I’m covered in baby love. Play guitar, sew, make jewelry, scrapbook, watch movies, go to the gym, do yoga…a girl can daydream.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating these books?

After dwelling, stressing, waiting, obsessing over getting a publisher, I realized (after being traditionally published) that I actually preferred to have the control. I asked for my rights back and started my own imprint with a few author friends called Acorn Publishing. It has been an amazing experience, one I never saw coming.

Check us out at Acornauthorservicesandpublishing.com

Why do you write YA fantasy?

Because it transports me to a different world that is far more exciting than hanging out in my PJs with two little munchkins (as cute and cuddly as they may be).

Who are your favorite authors?

The obvious ones. JK Rowling & Moira Young are two of my favorite MG/YA authors. I loved WILD by Cheryl Strayed. Recently I found Kat Ross, author of SOME FINE DAY.

What are you reading right now?

TRAVELERS by Meradeth Houston

 

If you’d like to know more, head on over to Jessica’s place. Tell her I sent ya 🙂

Oct 05

New Book Release! Uprising (Children of the Gods 2)

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts

 

 

Uprising-Second-Edition-Cover

Just wanted to give you a heads up! Jessica Therrien follows up her bestselling novel OPPRESSION with UPRISING, the second book in the Children of the Gods series. OPPRESSION, translated and sold around the world, was one of the best selling YA novels of 2012.

UPRISING continues the story of Elyse, William and the Descendants. Elyse has been in hiding for most of her life. Only now she’s hiding with William, and she knows who she’s hiding from. The Council wants a child Elyse and William have yet to conceive, a child who will be the next oracle, and who will provide the final piece to a plan Christoph has been organizing for years.

Charged with leading the rebellion against Christoph and his Council, Elyse feels well out of her depth. But she has good friends and strong allies who are willing to fight with her to the end, regardless of how far they have to go, and how many lives will be lost in the process.

They have one goal: to live freely and openly with the rest of humanity, out from under The Council’s oppressive rule. The stakes could not be higher for Elyse and the Descendants longing for freedom. They’ll have to learn to fight if they want to stand up against The Council, and to find allies in a world ruled by their enemies. The hardest part of waging a war is knowing who to trust. Elyse knows their uprising will change the world. She doesn’t realize it will change her, too.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ibooks | Kobo | Goodreads

OPPRESSION (Children of the Gods #1)

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She’s been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than average people, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she’s well over eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal.

For Elyse, these things don’t make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she’s been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability.

Or so she thinks.

Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Some are waiting for her to put an end to centuries of traditions that have oppressed their people under the guise of safeguarding them. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning-and she’s not entirely willing to play by their rules.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ibooks | Kobo | Goodreads

Jun 15

Children of the Gods get new covers!

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts

Today, instead of me rambling on about the weekend (which honestly wasn’t that exciting) I decided to share some exciting news from an author friend of mine.

REDEMPTION (Children of the Gods #3) is ready and waiting! Along with it, Jessica Therrien will be re-releasing the first two books in her series. All of them have wonderful new covers designed by Carrie Butler, and OPPRESSION will even include a bonus chapter. Here’s the details:

 

OPPRESSION
(Children of the Gods #1)
September 2, 2015
There are others like her. Many of them. And they have been waiting for her for a long time.

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She’s been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than average people, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she’s well over eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal.



For Elyse, these things don’t make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she’s been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability.



Or so she thinks. 



Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Some are waiting for her to put an end to centuries of traditions that have oppressed their people under the guise of safeguarding them. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning-and she’s not entirely willing to play by their rules.

UPRISING
(Children of the Gods #2)
October 2, 2015
The Descendants have waited long enough for freedom.

 

Elyse has done everything she can to protect her friends from The Council’s reach. As long as they believe she’s dead, she has time to rest and train for war. And war is inevitable. 



When Kara arrives with the news that Anna and Chloe have been captured, Elyse is faced with the realization that no one is safe until The Council is stopped and Christoph is destroyed. She doesn’t need a prophecy to tell her to lead an army. Christoph has done the one thing that ensures she’ll fight to the death. He’s threatened the people she loves. 



It will take more than the words of an oracle to help them fight against the most powerful Descendant alive. To break The Council’s oppression and rise up against a plot so many years in the making, Elyse will need to get dangerously close to her enemy. So close, in fact, she may not survive.

REDEMPTION
(Children of the Gods #3)
November 2, 2015
 
Nobody promised freedom would be peaceful.

Lead Council member, Christoph, is dead by Elyse’s hand, and Descendants have begun to emerge, exposing their secret to the world. Some see this as the prophecy come to fruition, but the prophecy caries a heavy consequence. It was never meant to be as peaceful as most had hoped.



Humans and Descendants struggle to live together in a world that isn’t ready for such a change. America is divided. Those who glorify the supernatural race believe Descendants truly are the gods they claim relation to. Others see them as a threat.



When Elyse gives birth to the next generation oracle, she sees one final vision—war. The destruction of the country’s major cities, and the end of America as we know it.



After her daughter is born, Elyse finds herself without the ability she needs to predict the future. Desperate to save the world from such conflict, she puts her faith in the hope that Descendants are the key to survival. After all, they have the power to supply a broken society with the means to survive.



Only from the ashes can a new world be born.

 

Links:

Where to find Jessica:

WEBSITE  |  TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |  GOODREADS

 

Add Children of the Gods on Goodreads:

OPPRESSION  |  UPRISING  |  REDEMPTION

 

Excited? Me too! Here’s some countdown timers, you can grab the embed code from them and install on your own website 🙂

 

Jun 09

Sale and Giveaway!

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts

My good friend Eva Pohler is having a sale! Not only will you get some great reads for you or your teens, but there’s a giveaway…check it out:

Readers are calling this series, “Amazing,” “Addicting,” and “One of the best modern retelling of ancient myth.” Kirkus Reviews wrote that it’s “sure to thrill Hunger Games fans,” and Midwest Book Reviews calls it “a powerful young adult fantasy.”

A teen becomes entangled with the gods of Mount Olympus when one of them, Thanatos, the god of death, wants his chance at love. He makes a deal with his father, Hades, but not all the gods want him to succeed.

GatekeeperBoxPart paranormal romance and part adventure story, this trilogy follows Therese’s adventures as she struggles to overcome the challenges the gods dish her in her quest to become like them.

For one week only, from June 7th to June 13th, the digital box set of The Gatekeeper’s Trilogy, usually $5.98, can be downloaded from any ebook retailer for 99 cents!

That’s three full-length novels, a total of 230,564 words, for less than a buck!

The Gatekeeper's Trilogy Promo

Here are the download links:

Kindle   Nook   iBooks   Google Play   Kobo   Smashwords

To celebrate this one-week sale, Eva Pohler Books is also giving one lucky winner a $40 gift certificate of his or her choice, plus a signed paperback set of the trilogy. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

This series was initially written as a trilogy and can end with the third book, or you can keeping reading through all six. This box set includes the first three books. If you want to keep reading, come back here to follow Therese’s adventures as she strives to become a goddess in the ancient Greek pantheon.

You can find the other three books in the series here:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00023]

Kindle    Nook

iBooks   Google Play

Smashwords  Kobo

 

GatekeepersSecretEbookKindle   Nook

iBooks   Google Play

Smashwords  Kobo

 

GatekeepersPromiseEbook finalKindle   Nook

iBooks   Google Play

Smashwords  Kobo

 

After you download your copy of The Gatekeeper’s Trilogy, be sure to enter this international rafflecopter giveaway, which ends at midnight on June 13th. You can enter daily! Then be sure to come back to this page to find out if you won and to get the other three books in the saga!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sep 07

Book Review: Shrilugh

By Melinda VanLone | Book Review

by Myndi Shafer

There stands a door in ancient trees;
Not for weakened hands to reach.
Yet some have passed in earlier days,
When darkness reigned in evil ways.

Abominations; Ancientborn;
Those aged stories, all forlorn
Will be retold with different names –
But stories, themes, remain the same.

Revenge’s sister Justice, sweet,
Stands tall in her own courtroom, keeps
A list of those who hold her dear,
And those who falsely call to her

While her dark sister whispers
Evil nothings in their ears.

(poem reprinted with permission by the author, Myndi Shafer)

 

Shrilugh (Shree-Loo) is the young adult romantic fantasy and debut novel by very talented author Myndi Shafer. At first I wanted to say if you love Twilight, you’ll love this. The problem is, this is so much better written! No offense to Stephanie Meyer (seriously, I did read all the Twilight series so I can hardly say they were horrible), but I enjoyed this story a lot more because it is beautifully told and well written, and the teen angst made sense to me where it didn’t in Twilight. Very real problems are happening in Shrilugh that would cause anyone, young adult or not, to be in complete turmoil.

This story was one emotional ride. I cheered, I cringed, I fretted, I stayed up way too late at night, I laughed, I cried, and my heart ached. If you love pure romance, and love experiencing the emotional stakes of others, you’ll like this story.

The protagonist, Ayden, has just graduated high school. As a “gift”, her sister tells her that she’s not really related at all and that she was found abandoned as a baby. The revelation is startling, to say the least, plus what comes after is horrifying. Her “father” and “sister” are truly horrible people who have made her life a living hell. She’s been looking forward to getting away from them, but now she’s not just getting away, she’s running for her life. Her father wants to kill her. Her boyfriend wants to save her. And a stranger has shown up to tell her she’s actually from another world entirely. She’s running from childhood, from her past, from her family, with very little to run towards except for the vague promise of a family she’s never known and another world she can hardly believe is real.

I’d angst too.

First Line:

To me, there are two first lines for this story, because there’s a prologue. While I usually don’t think prologues are necessary, in this case I think it works just fine. Assuming you read the prologue, the first line is:

The Stranger ran, drawing in deep, even breaths as each foot pounded the ground in turn. Every leaf of every tree around him glowed with a warm, easy light, blocking out the dark night that hovered over the canopy of that thick forest.

He was looking for something – something he’d seen, something he’d used once before: a Door. He knew he was nearing it; the memory of this forest was permanently ingrained in his brain. Following the Soverign’s orders. Dragging a woman, guilty in the most innocent of ways, along with him.

I have to say this was one hell of a hook for me. All kinds of intriguing things happening here. A Stranger with a capital S, running through a forest of trees that glow, looking for a Door with a capital D. A mention of him dragging a woman “guilty in the most innocent of ways.” Innocently guilty? How is that possible? What happened, where was he dragging her to and why, and where the heck is he? Oh read on, read on!

After the prologue, the real story starts. The first lines:

Aydan Fulbert stood in line, tapping her toe impatiently. She was hot, sweating under the shapeless gown whose only redeeming value was the fact that it made her jewel-green eyes look even greener. 

She looked at the students standing in line in front of her. Stockings and heels, hems and polished shoes showed under their gowns. She shifted nervously, suddenly anxious about the choice of clothes she wore hidden under the heat-trapping shroud she and her classmates were being forced to wear.

It’s a day in the life sort of beginning, but a day that most people remember vividly. Graduation Day. The day life changes. The day you leave being childhood and contemplate adulthood. I remember that stupid cloak they made us wear, the heat it generated… how I worried about what I wore underneath. (A dress, when I wasn’t used to wearing one). How nervous we all were, about everything. All of it captured in these few lines. I’m there with Aydan immediately. And I’m curious how her simple beginning of attending graduation will mesh with the Stranger of the prologue.

In short, I was double-hooked, big time.

I loved the idea of shrilugh, which it turns out is a tree that glows at night. Can you imagine not needing electric lights, because trees provide all the light you need? How cool would that be? I pictured them looking much like the plants in Avatar. Breathtakingly beautiful.

I didn’t like the society Ayden finds herself in on the other side, and I’m really hoping she finds a way to change it. The world building is so well done, and the story so well told, that I literally hated some of the people I met in the strange new world and marveled at how anyone could treat people the way they do without thinking twice. I’m expecting revolution at some point. At least, I hope there is one.

I really didn’t like how the story ended, because it didn’t. End, that is. The story simply stops. According to a note at the end of the story, the next installment in this series is due in October, and there’s a tease of the next book to keep you company while you wait. I hope it comes out soon, because I can hardly wait to find out what happens next!

If you’re a fan of fantasy romance, put this one on your To-Be-Read list. And then read it. You’ll be glad you did.