Sunday, 17 March 2013

Exclusive Interview with Jennifer Archer, + Win a copy of The Shadow Girl (intl)

Me : Welcome Jennifer to my blog Pages From My Thoughts.

Jenny : Thanks for the invitation! I’m so happy to be here.

Me : What was you inspiration behind The Shadow Girl?

Jenny : When I was in 5th or 6th grade, I was at school one day and I slipped out of class to go to the restroom. I was the only one in there, and I remember washing my hands at the sink and looking up and catching sight of my reflection in the mirror. For just a second, I felt a sense of disconnection with my own image and I thought: Who are you? I have never forgotten that strange feeling of separation from my reflection, even though it only lasted for a second. I think that memory inspired my idea for The Shadow Girl. Also, I love ghost stories, and I wanted to write a story that has that same eerie tone but in which the ‘presence’ is something different than a ghost – something more.

Me : Would you like to tell us a little bit about your upcoming novel The Shadow Girl?

Jenny : The story opens with Lily Winston, the main character, turning seventeen. Lily has grown up always sensing the presence of another girl – a girl named Iris. Iris whispers in Lily’s ear and hums haunting melodies. No one but Lily can hear Iris, though, and she realized early in her life that she must keep Iris a secret from her parents and everyone else. Why? Because sensing a presence is not considered normal! Iris has become an accepted and comforting part of Lily’s life. But when Lily’s Dad has a terrible accident and makes a puzzling statement before he dies that implies he and her mother have been hiding secrets of their own, Iris pressures Lily to uncover those secrets. With the help of a mysterious new boy in town named Ty, Lily starts investigating her father’s past, and she begins having some unsettling suspicions about who and what Iris is, and how they’re connected.

Me : Iris and Lily Winston, the protagonist of The Shadow Girl; how different are they personality wise. And which of them were difficult to write most?

Jenny : Well, Iris is simply a presence, so she is very elusive. She is all about music and emotion and mystery. Lily is very real. She’s a loner who loves spending time outside in nature. Her best friend, Wyatt, is the only person she spends much time with other than Iris, and when she’s with him, she loves doing outdoor things – ice-skating on the lake, riding four-wheelers on the trails in the mountains where they live, playing hockey. But she loves music, too, and that is one of her connections with Iris. I think Iris was the most difficult character to write, because she is such a mystery.

Me : As both of your YA novels are mystery, what is the most difficult thing about creating suspense?

Jenny : The most difficult aspect of writing suspense or mystery for me is weaving in clues along the way for readers without giving away too much too soon. The mystery should slowly unfold, so that when the reader gradually begins to realize the truth, he or she can look back in the story and think, “Aha! So that’s why she said that, or did that!”

Me : What made you consider writing YA books?

Jenny : A conversation with my literary agent about the fact that I enjoyed reading YA literature encouraged me to try my hand at writing it. She mentioned that she thought my “writer voice” is suited to writing for teens.

Me : Do you plan on moving back to Adult genre?

Jenny : I don’t have any plans to do so at the moment, but I’ll never say “never!” If I get an idea for an adult novel that insists I write it, I will definitely do that.

Me : What are your favourite YA books?

Jenny : Gosh, asking a writer and avid reader what her favourite books are is like asking a mom which of her children is her favourite! There are so many YA novels that I’ve loved it would be almost impossible for me to choose just one as a favourite. A newer YA novel I’ve recently added to my list of loves is SPLINTERED, by A.G. Howard. And I thoroughly enjoy John Green’s novels. And Sarah Dessen’s. I’m currently reading CHIME by Franny Billingsley, and it’s wonderful. And I love Marcus Zusak’s novels. Some older reads that are on my keeper shelf are THE GIVE R by Lois Lowry, and SANG SPELL by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

Me : Any tips for the aspiring authors?

Jenny : Write! Write as often as you can, as much as you can. Find time for writing and make it a regular part of every day. And read, read, read. Then analyze what you’ve read. How did the author stir emotion in you? How did she write dialogue that was believable? How did she create tension?

Me : Thank you Jennifer, for you time and consideration. It was such an honour to have you over my blog.

Jenny : Thank you! I’ve enjoyed it!

Now the giveaway time. Thank you Jenny for contributing a signed copy of The Shadow Girl for the giveaway purpose.
The Giveaway ends in 15th April. And Voila! the giveaway is open internationally.

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Friday, 8 March 2013

Everbound by Brodi Ashton

Goodreads Summary : Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love

My Rating : 4.5 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : “I waited for you."
"But it's a race. Why did you wait for me?"
"I always wait for you. I'm always waiting for you.”

Tragedy in wasteland of unfathomable pain, hopeless love is a divine whine. I found this book is just as tortuously magical. A beautiful second instalment that kept the consistency of the series. It was tragic and hopeful in same line, with a grand tour to Everneath and fighting off zombie like creatures with brains. I like books of any genre but when it comes to Geek mythology, its insanely irresistible for me. The moment I finished Everneath I felt a hidden scorch in my skin to read Everbound and this one year of waiting was simply as tortures as can get.

Jack has sacrificed himself to save Nikki. Now it a guilt ridden Nikki wants to bring the love of her life at any cost. But her only ticket to Everneath is Cole the bad boy who is sole responsible for all the trouble Nikki faced. So they embark a journey to Everneath, deterring all the obstacles in their way. But nothing comes with a price….isn’t it? Just like Orpheus paid by his life, for Eurydice

I loved Nikki in this book. The determination placed up to hide the feeling of loss and guilt, the swilling passion in depth of her heart and above all he dedication. She knew she was taking advantage of Cole’s love for her, using his connection to Everneath. Still her dedication to Jack just left me awed.

Cole always tried to be the bad guy. He kept convincing Nikki that he was no hero, but in the end he helped her, know it might endanger his own existence. I liked how his character has been portrayed, complex yet sympathetic. But also, there were portions of his minds in depth of danger that were off limits to anyone, even to Nikki. Yet, with all his flaws, I loved Cole.

Jack, dude, do i know ya? I have nothing much to say about Jack. His character was overshadowed by Cole. Only that he was holding on Nikki’s love, the only hope of his survival. However he mostly appeared in Nikki’s flashbacks and dreams. There not much Jack in this sequel but I hope to see him in action soon.

Everbound was written in a very clear language and in such a touching way. Every chapter was equally exciting. The ending was not a cliff-hanger like the first book, it was rather a comedy than a tragedy.
The series is not you usual re-imagining of Persephone and Hades myths, it's much more different and original.

Overall, if you have already read Everbound, you’ll be changed for a crime if you don’t read Everbound. And if you haven’t yet read Everneath, you must hurry to buy it. Trust me the series is worth reading.

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