02 November 2012

Blog Tour: Awaken (Daughters of the Sea #2) by Kristen Day

Title: Awaken (Daughters of the Sea #2)Author: Kristen Day
Pub. Date: Oct. 2, 2012
Find "Awaken":
Amazon / B&N

The sacrifices we make have the power to shift the very fabric of who we are, and ultimately who we are meant to be…

After learning of her true destiny as the intended Leader of the Tydes, Anastasia Whitman must now embark on a perilous quest to the Underworld before the age of eighteen in order to plant the seed of immortality and complete her essence to become a true Sea Goddess. But before she can make her legendary journey, an unexpected new student transfers to Lorelei; initiating a sequence of events that will unravel Stasia’s new life, and test the boundaries of her relationship with the mysterious, dark, and sexy Finn Morrison. The line between the Underworld and the Living begins to blur as gruesome ghosts, morbid reveries, and pure evil haunt her waking hours as well as her sanity. Once the details of Finn’s own startling destiny are revealed, the dangerous secrets he’s been hiding will threaten the very love Stasia believed to be indestructible. As time begins to run out, she will be forced to choose between the one she loves and the destiny she cannot escape.

I'm so pleased to have Kristen Day here at Captivated Reading! After reading Forsaken I'm a huge fan! So, everyone welcome Ms. Kristen Day!
~From the Author~

What inspired you to write The Daughters of the Sea series?

Paranormal is my normal: I may or may not be completely in love with YA Paranormal Romance Series. Actually, it’s more of an obsession. I devour them like strawberry shortcake cheesecake (best dessert EVER) and have no control over the need to read them over and over. I’ve read The Hush, Hush series four times so far, but who’s counting? I fell in love with writing since succeeded in writing that pesky letter G in cursive (or Z for that matter). Then I fell in love with it all over again when I learned how to diagram sentences. It became more of a work of art to me. It just…made sense. So anyway, after reading every YA paranormal romance novel on the planet, I found myself craving certain aspects to the story that I wasn’t getting in the books I was reading. I wanted a stronger heroine, less drama with more action, and a different kind of ‘darkness’. That’s when I decided to create my own imaginary world and characters; intertwining all of the things I couldn’t seem to find in other books.

Life’s a Beach: Choosing the beach as my location for the series was a balancing act. I despise mermaids, but love the idea of having a connection with the sea. This is where my favorite classics came into play: The Odyssey and The Iliad. I know what you’re saying - seriously? That awful monstrosity of a story we were forced to read in high school? Yes, that’s the one. I didn’t have the normal gag reflex most of my friends had to reading them though; I fell in love. The challenges, the beasts, the sirens, the twists and turns and the intertwining love story; all sucked me in and had a profound effect on me. Couple that with a love of the beach and it suddenly occurred to me what I wanted to write about. My family lives on Oak Island, with Bald Head Island a mere ferry ride away. Bald Head is truly magical and enchanting (if you have never been, you should go!) and was the perfect setting!

Reality meet Fiction: I desperately wanted to read about a heroine that had a real reason for being strong. Last I checked being gifted with magical powers doesn’t make you an instant leader/hero/bad*ss. Experience is the only thing that can give you that kind of mental strength. So, that’s what inspired me to incorporate a little bit of tough reality into my fiction.

Thank you so much for hosting the Awaken Blog Tour! I hope everyone has enjoyed reading the Daughters of the Sea series as much as I enjoyed writing it!

~About the Author~

Kristen Day is a southern belle at heart with a crazy streak that desperately tries to escape at every opportunity. She loves all things nostalgic, rustic, and quirky. She’s been told she sees the world through rose-colored glasses, but she prefers to think of them as kaleidoscope glasses - swirling and morphing reality into something she can digest (who hasn't pretended those pasty lima beans were really kiwi strawberry jelly beans?).

She is the author of the DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA trilogy, which includes FORSAKEN, AWAKEN (Oct 2012), and CHOSEN (Winter 2012). She loves all books, but really enjoys writing young adult, paranormal romances. She’s loved to write for as long as she can remember. Her first published work was her poem RED in second grade (you guessed it - it was a poem about the color red - life altering, right?) that won her 5 gold stars and a spot in her elementary school's poetry book. That's when her addiction to the written word officially began. She was the only kid in fifth grade that actually enjoyed diagramming sentences. Go ahead and laugh - its okay.

When she’s not writing she’s making jewelry, painting, feeding her addiction to sweet tea, watching the Discovery Channel, or going on random adventures in the mountains of North Carolina with her amazing husband. She was born in Boone, NC and graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Marketing in 2001.

Blog / Twitter / Goodreads

31 October 2012

Review: A Night at the Bishop House by Ronda L. Caudill

Title: A Night at the Bishop House
Author: Ronda L. Caudill
Pub. Date: Sept. 5, 2012
Acquired: From author.
Find "A Night at the Bishop House":

It was a stormy June night and Victoria Long was forced to spend the night in the spooky Bishop house on the outskirts of town. It is a night that will haunt her the rest of her life.

~My Review~
If you're in the mood for a eerie--but clean--short Halloween read, then right now, I suggest purchasing A Night at the Bishop House. Besides the fact that it's currently free, this short story is sure to give you some entertainment.

A Night at the Bishop House is the tale of a lady named Victoria who, on her way home from a party, is forced to drive past the dreaded Bishop House, which is more mansion than house. She HATES the Bishop house and absolutely refuses, under normal circumstances, to go past it. But, tonight, fate has decided she has no choice.

Once there in the house the reader is given a rather monotone narrative of Ms. Long's adventures and personal discoveries in the haunted mansion. The narrative, itself, is one of my biggest issues. I don't feel like when I was reading the story that I was actually in Victoria's head. I feel like I was reading a script or her, rather unemotional, diary entry.

That said, however, the tale did definitely keep my interest. The story wasn't particularly scary, but was more along the vein of suspense or mystery. I think it's because of this and because the descriptions were plentiful that I really did enjoy this book. I feel like Ronda was stringing me along for a good thirty minutes, while I was just diligently waiting to see where I'd end up.

Remember, it's free on Amazon! Check it out, read it, let me know what you think!

~My Rating~

~About the Author~

Ronda L. Caudill grew up in the small rural town of Glade Spring, VA and married her high school sweetheart. They have been happily married for 23 years. She has two wonderful daughters. Ronda earned her Ph.D. in Education from Capella University. She is the author of Birthright (A Nobleman Novel), and short story A Night at the Bishop House. Ronda is currently working on the sequel to Birthright entitled The Choice.

Webpage / Twitter / Goodreads

30 October 2012

Guest Review: Skylark by Meagan Spooner

Title: Skylark (Skylark #1)
Author: Meagan Spooner
Pub. Date: Aug. 1, 2012
Acquired: From author.
Find "Skylark":
Amazon / B&N / Fishpond / The Book Depository

Sixteen-year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky.

Her world ends at the edge of the vast domed barrier of energy enclosing all that’s left of humanity. For two hundred years the city has sustained this barrier by harvesting its children's innate magical energy when they reach adolescence. When it’s Lark’s turn to be harvested, she finds herself trapped in a nightmarish web of experiments and learns she is something out of legend itself: a Renewable, able to regenerate her own power after it’s been stripped.

Forced to flee the only home she knows to avoid life as a human battery, Lark must fight her way through the terrible wilderness beyond the edge of the world. With the city’s clockwork creations close on her heels and a strange wild boy stalking her in the countryside, she must move quickly if she is to have any hope of survival. She’s heard the stories that somewhere to the west are others like her, hidden in secret—but can she stay alive long enough to find them?

This is the first ever guest post at Captivated Reading, and I'm super excited to have one of my greatest friends on here, giving her opinion.
So, please, say hello to Missy, and tell her what you think of her review!

~Missy's Review~
So, it’s my first guest review here at Captivated Reading. Woo! Not gonna lie, though— kinda feels like the first day of junior high, wondering if it’s gonna be awesome, or if I’m gonna end up with my head in a toilet. Here’s hoping my head stays dry.

Anyway, I read Skylark by Meagan Spooner. From the get-go, this part fantasy, part dystopian, part steampunk story pulls the reader into a world where magic exists as “The Resource”— power harvested from citizens of the last known city on earth to run its machines. The narrative follows Lark, a teenage girl with serious abandonment issues after her older brother’s disappearance, as she discovers the shocking truth behind the horror that is “harvesting” and the terrifying world outside the Wall of the city.

Truthfully, and I’m sorry to say this... I was a little underwhelmed. At first (and let’s keep that in mind, please).

After the initial excitement and intrigue of Part I, I found myself wondering when things were going to get really interesting, you know? Lark, as a main character, isn’t as likable or as strong as I would’ve expected from someone with her history. And as Part II began, with Lark venturing beyond the Wall all alone, I even got— dare I say?— a little bored.

Enter Oren. Ah, Oren. Story-saving, life-altering, cannibal-slaughtering Oren. As soon as Lark meets Oren, a wild boy living outside the Wall, the tables turn. Oren is instantly captivating and mysterious, admirable and heartbreaking. He is, quite frankly, what made this book for me. He singlehandedly turns Lark from a somewhat-flat main character into a compassionate heroine, and takes the story to a new, can’t-turn-the-page-fast-enough level.

And never mind the ending. Twist-o-RAMA.

For me, I can liken Skylark to waiting an hour for a meal at one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants. I tapped my foot for a little while, sure. But then my Oren-filet came. Worth. Every. Minute.

Four and a half stars from Missy. Peace out.

~Missy's Rating~

~About the Author~

Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She's traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there's a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Northern Virginia, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

Webpage / Twitter / Goodreads