Book Love, Book Reviews, Giveaway, writers life, writing

Book Review: Releasing the Dragon by K.L. Bone

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Title: RELEASING THE DRAGON (The Flames of Kalleen #2)

Author: K.L. Bone

Pub. Date: October 25, 2018

Publisher: K.L. Bone

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 214

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&N
7,000 years ago, an Amethystine dragon fell in love with a Kalleen princess, and nearly uncovered an unholy truth. As a consequence, to protect the status quo, the Amethystine were banished from the kingdom, their very existence wiped from the epics of history.
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Plagued by inescapable nightmares, Amelia wonders if the unknown dragon in her dreams, whose boundless fury destroys all she loves, is a glimpse of an ancient past…or uncertain future?
Despite her fears, the newly crowned Dragon Queen must find the courage to face the kingdom’s darkest secrets. Evil truths that those who prefer the old ways, especially the temple’s powerful leaders, will go to any length to keep in eternal shadow.
Standing steadfast by her side, Amelia’s Captain Gwain, and newfound love Conner, strive to assist her. In their quest to forge a new kingdom, one free from oppression of those not blessed with a dragon form, Amelia delves deeper into the temple’s corruption and uncovers the horrors wrought upon her kingdom’s children in the name of control and power. A necessary task, for a better future, but her revelations could spark a civil war between the temples’ devoted followers and those sworn to the royal dragon bloodline.

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Loie’s Review

I thoroughly enjoyed K.L. Bone’s novels. She is a fantastic writer and captures the voices of all the characters super well 🙂

The romance in the story was executed perfectly between Connor and Amelia ❤ Loved the adventure plot, particularly when Amelia found ancient scrolls and read through them.

This story ended on a cliffhanger and eep! Anxiously waiting to read the next one! Loved the history and worldbuilding. Great job, K.L.! 5 Stars.

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Title: EMBRACING THE DRAGON (The Flames of Kalleen #1)

Author: K.L. Bone

Pub. Date: August 2018

Publisher: K.L. Bone

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 354

Find it: GoodreadsAmazoniBooks

Can a human heart withstand the flames of a dragon’s soul? 


For centuries, the dragons of Kalleen have ruled the skies. Blessed by the goddess of fire, those born of her power are destined to exist within two worlds, while fully belonging to neither.

As the youngest daughter of the dragon queen, Amelia has always been torn between her humanity and winged form. In meeting Stephen, she found a blossoming love that gave her hope of finding balance.
A dream destroyed when her sister, and future queen, sets her sights upon the same man.
Forced from her lover’s side, Amelia embraces a self-imposed exile, taking refuge in the northern mountains. In this new life of solitude, she banishes painful memories by retreating to her dragon form, sheltering the wounded girl within.
Yet it is an isolation that cannot last, as the new dragon queen’s cruelty bears down upon the kingdom, allowing an ancient enemy to rise. Drawn from her banishment by the pleas of friends, Amelia must choose. Will she embrace the destructive beast within? Or draw upon the frail humanity that lingers dimly in her soul, in a desperate attempt to help her people, and mend a broken heart?

KL

About K.L:

K.L. Bone is a bestselling author of dark fantasy and paranormal romance. Her works include the bestselling Black Rose Guard dark fantasy series. The bestselling Flames of Kalleen paranormal romance series. The Rise of the Temple Gods fantasy series. And a stand-alone science fiction novel, The Indoctrination.

Bone has a master’s degree in modern literary cultures and is working toward her PhD. She wrote her first short story at the age of fifteen and grew up with an equally great love of both classical literature and speculative fiction. Bone has spent the last few years as a bit of a world traveler, living in California, London, and most recently, Dublin. When not immersed in words, of her own creation or studies, you’ll find her traveling to mythical sites and Game of Thrones filming locations.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card, International.


Rafflecopter link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2835/?

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

11/5/2018- Writer of Wrongs– Excerpt

11/6/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

11/7/2018- The Cozy Reading Corner– Excerpt

11/8/2018- Viviana MacKade– Excerpt

11/9/2018- JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder– Excerpt

Week Two:

11/12/2018- Oh Hey! Books.– Excerpt

11/13/2018- Loie Dunn– Review

11/14/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

11/15/2018- BookHounds– Excerpt

11/16/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

 

Author Interview, Book Love, canadian authors, writers life

YA Author Interview: Kristen Ciccarelli

 

The Last Namsara Goodreads Summary

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her

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Thank you so much, Kristen, for agreeing to come on the blog today and share about your writing, books, and other creative endeavors.

I loved The Last Namsara SO much! I particularly loved your worldbuilding, mythology, romance, and main character, Asha 🙂 Also, dragons! It’s great to have you here on the blog today. Woohoo to Canadian YA Fantasy authors! Love it.

When I first picked up The Last Namsara and flipped to the back to read your bio, I was so excited to see you were a fellow Canadian. It gave me hope that someday I might also be published.

Okay, let’s get to the interview 🙂

Loie: How did you come up with Firgaard? I love this world so much!

Kristen: This is actually a hard question to answer! My stories always begin with character, and everything in a story (in my opinion) needs to somehow serve that character—either helping her or hindering her on her journey to becoming who she’s meant to be. So I guess you could say that I came up with Firgaard because of Asha. The outlawed stories, the patriarchal monarch, the deadly dragons, the walls within walls … these were all things that came out of who Asha was, the secrets she was keeping, etc. It’s the world she needed.

Loie: When you are building and researching a story, what tips do you have for writers? Do you spend a certain amount of time preparing the story before drafting? Also, could you talk a little bit about rewrites and revisions?

Kristen: I think everyone researches and worldbuilds differently, so I’m not sure how helpful I can be here. One thing I will say is that research and worldbuilding can become procrastination tactics. They’re important, but getting the book written is more important. You can do all the research and worldbuilding in the world and still not have done enough. At some point, you have to start writing. I do some research and worldbuilding at the beginning, some as I write, and then some more in between drafts, going back and fixing things/layering in the new pieces. What’s more important for me is knowing my character. I spend a considerable amount of time figuring out who my character is before I start writing. I need to know who she is at the beginning of the story versus who she is at the end so I can figure out how she’s going to change and grow (which is essentially the plot of the book).

In terms of rewrites and revisions, it really depends on the author, as well as the book. Some things that are important before you sit down to revise a story: take space away from the draft so you can see it with fresher eyes, give it to trusted people who will give constructive feedback, compile that feedback into some kind of revision plan (I like to make a revision list starting from big things like character and plot changes, then end with small things like adding in more sensory details, etc), then go down the list as you revise. When you get to the end, repeat the same steps over again for as many drafts as a story needs, until it’s done.

Loie: What inspired the stories found in TLS and TCQ? I loved your book because of the snippets of legends we received before each chapter. It made the story and the world so much richer and I truly felt immersed.

Kristen: The stories are essentially cleverly disguised cheating. 😉 They’re there to give the reader a whole lot of backstory (on the characters, on the world, on the religion) without the reader realizing they’re reading a lot of backstory. But also, stories are so integral to the book—they’re dangerous and forbidden because they lure dragons and kill their tellers, but also because Asha is a storyteller. So it just seemed right to use them in this way.

Loie: Do you have any projects that you are dreaming to work on in the future after this series? Will you always write YA or will you write MG or Adult? Are there any other genres you are particularly drawn to?

Kristen: I have a few projects I’m working on now, just for fun. One of them is YA fantasy set in a very different world than The Last Namsara and it’s been the thing I work on when I don’t have any other looming deadlines. The other project is an adult fantasy. I’m definitely most drawn to fantasy (and always have been). I can’t really see myself writing in other genres, but never say never, I guess?

Loie: What do you do to get unstuck in a story?

Kristen: Usually it requires going back to the place in the story where I wasn’t stuck and deleting everything after that point. But sometimes getting stuck is a sign of stress or exhaustion. So sometimes it means I need to put the laptop away for the night and watch Netflix with my husband. Other times it means going for a walk. Or washing the dishes. Or doing something that requires me to get out of my head. The subconscious mind is a powerful thing that can often figure out your plot problems while you distract yourself with other things.

Loie: Who is your favorite character to write and why 🙂 ?

Kristen: Whichever character I’m writing at the moment. 😉 Seriously, though. I’m most interested in whoever is driving the story I’m currently writing, probably because I have to know them so well. (So with book one, it was Asha. With book two, it was Roa.) However, I think people are interesting in general. People are like icebergs. There’s a tiny little bit of them showing above the surface, but mostly who they are is all hidden underneath. The surface of a person can be extremely deceiving. I want to know what’s under the surface of every character/person, because it’s so often interesting and surprising.

Loie: I love your Instagram and seeing all the other creative things you are up to like baking and pottery and hiking around Newfoundland. How do other creative endeavors inform writers or how do they help?

Kristen: As anyone who spends a lot of time staring at a computer screen will know, it’s helpful to get out of your head and into the real world, to move your body, to have sensory experiences. Writing is stationary and solitary and happens inside your own mind. You can’t stay in that state. You need to move, have social interactions, be present in the world happening around you. For your writing, yes, but more importantly, for your well-being. Baking, making pottery, hiking … these are restorative acts for me. They remind me that writing is not the most important thing. Living is.

Loie: If you could sit down with one author and have a coffee with them, who would it be?

Kristen: Patricia McKillip! She was my favourite author growing up (and still is). She has virtually no internet presence. She doesn’t go on tour. She’s a total mystery, which I love. (In fact, now that I’m writing this, maybe I don’t want to have coffee with her, maybe I should keep her as a mystery…)

Loie: Finally, can you share a little bit about The Caged Queen?

Kristen: The Caged Queen is about a girl who must kill a king in order to save her sister. The protagonist of this book is Roa, who you meet in The Last Namsara when she makes Dax (a boy she has tumultuous history with) a deal: she’ll lend him the army he needs to win a war if he marries her and makes her queen.

While The Caged Queen opens almost immediately after The Last Namsara ends (with Roa as an outlander queen in a kingdom that’s been shaken by war), and while it continues on with the characters from TLN (Asha, Torwin, etc), it also stands alone. So you can read The Caged Queen first if you want, and then read The Last Namsara as a prequel.

Loie: Thank you so much, Kristen for coming here and taking the time to answer some questions. I love your writing and I cannot wait to read The Caged Queen!

Kristen: It was my pleasure! Thanks for your questions, Loie.

I hope you all enjoyed the interview. Keep an eye out on my Twitter account for a book giveaway 😍✨ Have you read The Last Namsara? What is your most anticipated sequel?

Until next time,

Loie xo

Author Interview, Book Love, canadian authors, writers life, writing

Saturday Check-In: Books I’m Reading, Upcoming Author Interview, and Heading to the Country

Hiya friends,

Short post for today.  The #WriteMentor Agent Showcase went fantastically and Stuart shared that every mentee received an agent request which is super rare and awesome! Woohoo 🙂 You can still read the lovely entries here!

What I’m Reading

I finished The Secret Deep by Lindsay Galvin and it’s definitely a 5 star book in my opinion! I loved the thrilling mystery and the close sisterly bond between Aster and Poppy.

I’m still working on Blinding Night and A Touch of Gold. But I also have a few more on my radar 😀 The life of a booklover! Haha.

Scion of the Fox is written by Canadian writer, editor, and artist, S.M. Beiko. The pitch is American Gods meets Princess Mononoke!

Saving Death was graciously sent to me by Oftomes Publishing to review. Very excited to dive in.

The Bone Roses is such a unique and fantastical story. It’s pitched as a Steampunk Western! I love it so far. Rags is such a spunky and brave main heroine.

This book was published by Parliament House Press. I think they are definitely a publishing house to watch. They have some great books lined up for the fall. My two mentors from #WriteMentor each have a book releasing from them in the next couple of months.

Upcoming Author Interview

I won’t say much about this because I want you to be excited and curious but I have a fantastic author interview going live on Tuesday! They are a bestselling fantasy writer and I cannot wait for you to read the interview ❤

Heading to the Country

I am excited because this weekend I am heading to the country to spend time with family. Hoping for rest and good conversation and inspiration. I also get to read my #cpsoulmate‘ latest draft of her science fiction adventure story, World Leaper! 

Do you have any plans for the weekend? What are you reading at the moment?

Keep your eyes peeled for Tuesday’s interview!

Until next time,

Loie xo

Book Love, writers life, writing

Saturday Check-In: Agent Showcase, Fall Crafting, and Books I’m Reading

Hey everyone!

I decided to start something new this month and hopefully the months to follow: a weekly check-in and short post about what’s going on in my life. I’d also love to hear what’s going on in your life, too 🙂

#WriteMentor Agent Showcase

So this week, as the title states, is the Agent Showcase for #WriteMentor. On Thursday, September 6th, all entries were posted and you can go on the website and review all the wonderful mentees imaginative and diverse first pages.

I have enjoyed reading my fellow mentees work! Hard to believe the summer has flown on by and we are now considering entering the query trenches with our #WriteMentor manuscript. Again, I owe all the world of thanks to my funny and sweet mentors, MB Dalto and Amber R. Duell.

So that’s what’s happened this week.

I hope to transition and begin working again on my dark fairytale retelling, KING BLUEBEARD.

Fall Crafting

I absolutely love fall. I posted a pic on Instagram of my first pumpkin spice latte with my dear friend a day shy of September, haha! Ringing in the season early.

Something I love to do in the fall is make crafts with my Mum and friends. I enjoy walking on the beach and picking up sea-glass and pieces of driftwood. My mum made the cutest pebble art piece for Adam, Maggie, and I.

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I hope to work on either a mosaic or a braided rug this fall. Or maybe make some autumn candles 😉

What I’m Reading

 

 

I picked up Touch of Gold after hearing some great things about it! It’s a King Midas retelling ❤ Enjoying it so far.

Lindsay Galvin is one of the #WriteMentor mentors and I kept seeing her book being tweeted so I ordered. It’s soooo good! If you’re interested in the ocean and the environment and mystery, I think you’ll enjoy this.

I read Chantal Gadoury’s Little Mermaid retelling and really enjoyed it! She sent me an ARC of this Persephone and Hades retelling. Love her storytelling and writing style ❤

What books are you reading right now? What activities do you like to do in the fall? I would love to hear below!

Loie xo

Author Interview, Book Love, Book Reviews, Giveaway

YA Author Interview & Giveaway: Jenna Morland

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I’ve started a monthly highlight blog of Canadian authors and upcoming authors. I’m so excited to announce that Jenna Morland is my first author participating!

Today is her book birthday! Let’s get started.

Loie: It’s great to have you here and celebrate the release of your magical and romantic debut, Empress Unveiled. I just want to say how amazing it is to meet a fellow Canadian Young Adult writer. I loved this book so much, and I cannot wait to read more of your work!

Jenna: Thank you! I think it is so cool that you are featuring Canadian authors and upcoming authors. I really appreciate all the support and love. I am ecstatic that you enjoyed Empress Unveiled and I am beyond grateful for all the wonderful reviews so far.

Okay, on to the questions 😊

Loie: How long have you been writing?

Jenna: Years ago, I dabbled in song-writing but Empress Unveiled was the first piece of fiction I had ever written. To be honest, I was terrible at English. Actually, I got a C in Grade 12 English! But I did read—a lot. I have always been a creative person and I found it fascinating to rearrange words until they created something beautiful. I started writing Empress Unveiled 2 years ago, and it just kind of spilled out of me. The first draft only took a couple of months to write.

Loie: Wow, sounds like it was the story you had to tell 🙂 I love that! What is your favorite genre to write and why?

Jenna: I really enjoyed writing fantasy. The only limit is your imagination and I find that freeing. I also love romance! I am such a sucker for a good love triangle. I find the complicated trials of the human heart to be inspiring.

Loie: I love writing fantasy and romance as well, haha! Who inspired Swayzi? Sidenote: I love Swayzi so much ❤

Jenna: I love that you love her!! Swayzi is a combination of many characters I have loved over the years. I think there is a piece of me in Swayzi as well, but mostly, I created a character that I wanted to read. She is imperfect, awkward, and most of all—relatable. You can’t help but root for her!

Loie: What books have influenced you the most?

Jenna: Without a doubt, Harry Potter. JK came into my life when I was 12. That awkward time in everyone’s life when you go from being a kid to becoming a teenager. It kept me young, it made me dream and it fanned my curiosity of the journey the imagination can take you on. Twilight also had a big impact on me. It was a beast, and it affected the world. Stephanie Meyer created a story that people young and old could relate to. Like me, she had no experience as a writer and was a stay-at-home mom. She made me believe anything is possible!

Loie: JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer both had a huge impact on me as well ❤ When I was thirteen, JK made me realize I could dream up stories like she did. Stephenie made me fall in love with storytelling and romance💕

Do you find anything particularly challenging when writing?

Jenna: Now that I have been through so many grueling rounds of editing it’s easy to pick apart my writing. I am currently working on the sequel to Empress Unveiled and it took me a long time to let go of perfecting my writing as I worked. It was stifling my creativity.

Loie: Ah, yes. I understand that feeling completely. I worked with two published authors this summer for a writing mentorship called #WriteMentor. We edited my seafaring fantasy a lot and I learned a ton, haha. After you’ve been through an editing process, you start to pick up on imperfections as you go. I love NaNoWriMo month because I dive into a new project and try to get the words down and worry about editing later.

How did you find your publisher and what was the process like working with an editor?

Jenna: #PitMad on Twitter! I submitted my “elevator pitch” and Oftomes was one of the publishers to like my tweet. I sent them my manuscript and I didn’t hear back from them. I received an offer from another publisher and like any writers wish, I was able to send out the “Offer Received” email to all the agents and publishers I had queried. I had this weird feeling that Oftomes was meant to publish Empress Unveiled. In fact, I said that in my last email to them. They sent me an offer 24 hours later.

I had two different editors and each experience was different. There were times when I really enjoyed it, I could see the beauty that was formed with collaboration and it made me excited. I knew the story was better off. Other times—it was awful. I love the creative side of writing, the tedious details of editing on the other hand, was a struggle for me.

Loie: Can you tell us anything about the sequel to Empress Unveiled? Or other projects you are working on?

Jenna: I love where the sequel is going right now. I am so excited to be in Empress and to fall harder for these characters. There are new additions to the cast, and surprises that will leave you stunned. 

I do have one other project that I had to set aside to write the sequel and I will go back to it. It’s something very different from Empress but I love the characters and the idea of it. I need more hours in a day!

Loie: Favorite 2018 book?

Jenna: Turtles All the Way Down!

Loie: What’s your most anticipated read of this year?

Jenna: I am really looking forward to reading Saving Death by R.L. Endean. She is my Oftomes sister and from what I hear—it’s amazing!

Loie: Oooo. I can’t wait to read that one as well 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting, Jenna! Huge congrats to you on your fantastic debut.

Jenna: Thank you so much for asking me to do this interview, I really enjoyed it! I am kind of freaking out that Empress Unveiled has been released into the wild, but I seriously loved the journey to publication and I can’t wait to do it all over again with the sequel.

Loie: Thanks again, Jenna!

I hope you all enjoyed this interview 😊. For those interested in winning a copy of Jenna’s novel, here are ways to gain entries:

  • Leave a comment below on the blog
  • Follow Jenna on Twitter (@jennamorland)
  • Instagram (@jennamorland)
  • Follow me on Twitter (@loiedunn)
  • Follow my blog

Leave your usernames for both so I can track the entries. At the end of the month I will choose a winner randomly.

Good luck and thanks for visiting!

Loie

Author Interview, Book Love, Book Reviews, canadian authors, Giveaway

Launching Monthly Interviews with YA and MG Canadian Authors

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hey everyone!

How are you all making out? Hard to believe the beginning of September has breezed on into our lives. I had my first pumpkin spice latte on August 31st 😉 Couldn’t wait, haha!

I wanted to write a short post and share about something new I am starting tomorrow here on my blog.

There is a ton of talent here in Canada. Seeing as I am an Atlantic Canadian writer, I love to meet fellow Canadian authors of children’s literature. I decided to begin a monthly blog series where I highlight a Canadian author or an up and coming writer. Of course, I love all writers, but I wanted to share some of the talent here in this country.

Tomorrow I have a special treat planned for you all!

I have a blog going live that will feature a fantastic debut YA Fantasy author who wrote a romantic and magical story. Can’t wait for you to find out who it is! There will be an interview with said author and a giveaway of their debut novel ❤

Please check back tomorrow!

Talk soon,

Loie xo

 

Book Love, Cover Reveals

Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell Cover Reveal

Hi everyone!
I have the great honor to be part of the book cover reveal for one of my #WriteMentor mentors, Amber R. Duell!
I read Amber’s previous book, Fragile Chaos, and it was fantastic. Lush, romantic, and complex.
I cannot wait to read her newest book, Dream Keeper. I’ve always been fascinated by dreams. It is also about Sandman! Eeee!
Isn’t the cover gorgeous? Keep reading to find out more about the story.
PS: Shoutout to Amber: this cover is stunning!
-Loie xo