Author of the Month – Elise Edmonds

Dear Friends,

I’d promised you a special interview with Ms. Elise Edmonds, author of the exciting new novel Where Carpets FlyAnd here it is at last 🙂

For those of you who missed my previous post, here’s a gist of Where Carpets Fly:

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Mystery and adventure meet in a magical land of flying carpets, vibrant cities, and seafaring folk. Follow Elina Faramar’s journey from the village flying carpet shop to magic school in town. What’s her new magic teacher hiding? Why won’t anyone discuss the nearby, volatile country of Pallexon?

The situation turns to a nightmare when friend Kara is mistaken for a spy.

Can Elina’s wits and magic save Kara and unravel Pallexon’s secrets?

I had the pleasure of reading this amazing novel and was really impressed with the way the story was written, the characters and the fantastic story world which was a unique blend of the magical and the practical. So, naturally, I rushed to interview Elise for tips and suggestions 🙂

Without further ado, here are some snippets of our conversation:

Krisna: Welcome, Elise! It’s great to have you with us today.

Elise: It’s my pleasure, Krisna.

Krisna: As I’d mentioned before, I really loved Where Carpets Fly. What inspired you to write this story?

Elise: I’ve always been a fan of both children’s fantasy books and school stories – long before Harry Potter came into the world. I grew up on Enid Blyton and Narnia. So writing a fun, immersive fantasy story full of adventure but also including school and coming of age themes is basically me writing the book I wanted to read as a kid! It’s got a bit of everything I enjoy reading about.

Flying carpets have always held a fascination for me. There’s something exciting and exotic about them, and I wanted to capture that feeling in my world. I read a Diana Wynne Jones book about flying carpets (Castle in the Air – the sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle), and I can say she’s also influenced my writing.

Krisna: Flying carpets are one of my favorite things too! Magic and flying – a wonderful combination 🙂

One of the things I love the most about your novel is your story world. It’s a perfect blend of whimsical, magical and practical at the same time. Could you share some tips about creating a believable and gripping story world?

Elise: Thanks! I think it’s important to spend some time worldbuilding before you start to write a fantasy novel. It doesn’t have to be formal or even on paper, but traveling there in your imagination can help you picture the everyday life of your character. What do they eat? What do they wear? What occupation do they (or the adults around them) do every day?

Magic systems are often a key aspect of a fantasy story, and I like to define magic, and give it limits and practical applications so it feels like a tool your characters are using. In the same way that I use a smartphone in my everyday life, my characters use the magic at their disposal to help them through life.

I also find drawing a map very useful: it can focus you on practical things like climate and the positioning of types of terrain and where populations are situated. This can come in useful when your characters travel, to make journey times and methods of transport feel believable. It can be helpful to base fantasy countries on real life countries, and use elements of cultures that already exist to give the reader a feeling of familiarity.

Krisna: Thanks for the awesome tips on world building. I’d recently read an article about magic systems in your blog. It was really insightful and helped me a lot in my story world.

Another thing I really liked in your novel is your characters.  All of them have their own personalities and speech patterns. What is the inspiration behind these characters?

Elise: I’m afraid I’m one of these writers who just lets her characters develop as they choose. I plan the plots, but sometimes character motivation forces me to change the plot, because it doesn’t feel right for the character. It feels kind of silly to say the characters tell me how they feel, but that’s the closest I can get to it.

I knew I wanted a girl who longed to get away from her dull home life, and I wanted to give her a BFF. And that was my starting point!

Aunt Clauda has a little real-life inspiration. I have a single aunt myself, and as a child, I always enjoyed spending time with her. She’s not crazy like Aunt Clauda, but she did represent someone outside the family unit who was interested in me and happy to help out.

Krisna: LOL! That’s really interesting. Speaking of characters, who’s your favorite character in Carpets and what makes him/ her so special?

Elise: Elina is always my favourite. I know that’s kind of boring, but I chose my main character because she was someone I was interested in reading about. I wouldn’t say she’s meant to be me, but she has characteristics in common with me: being keen to leave home (although I was a little older than Elina when I finally did!), a longing to travel and see some excitement, but quite naive about the big wide world. She has goals which teen me would have identified with strongly.

Krisna: It’s not boring at all. I think the main character is the one that most readers are going to relate and connect to as the story is told from her POV. So it’s a great tip to have a main character that the author loves. It definitely shows in the writing.

Thank you so much Elise, for taking the time to answer my questions. I wish you all the very best in your writing career. I’m looking forward to the sequel to Carpets.

Elise: Thank you, Krisna 🙂

CONNECT WITH ELISE:

elise-author-picBorn in Staffordshire in England, Elise Edmonds has always been an avid reader, especially of fantasy and young adult books. Elise moved to Bristol in her teens, to attend university, and undertook a career in the finance world.

Now living in a quiet South Gloucestershire village, she spends her free time with her husband and two cats, and enjoys attending local fitness classes, watching movies, and playing the piano. Pursuing writing in her spare time as a creative outlet is a way to bring the magic back into her everyday life.

You can connect with her via her Amazon Author PageWebsite, Facebook, Twitter,  GoodreadsInstagram and Wattpad.

Check out this amazing novel by Elise Edmonds. It’s available both in paperback and kindle formats.

Where Carpets Fly – Elise Edmonds

Do you love magic and magic carpets? Then you’re in for a fantastic treat this week! Where Carpets Fly by Elise Edmonds is now available on Amazon.

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Where Carpets Fly is a YA Fantasy Adventure novel with a gripping story, loads of magic, magic lessons, and an underlying theme of enduring friendship. I fell in love with the characters, the amazing story world and the way the story is revealed to the readers.

And the cover is simply divine 🙂

Want to know more?

Here’s the story blurb:

Elina Faramar finally leaves her family’s flying carpet shop when her father reluctantly agrees she can take magic lessons in nearby Kamikan. Urban life promises adventure, and new friend Kara shows her the sights.

However, Elina soon sees a darker side of life: a foreigner arrested at the circus, forbidden schoolhouse rooms with odd comings and goings, and unsociable pupil Simeon’s shady deals at the docks. Everything seems connected to the volatile neighbouring country of Pallexon, but no one will tell her why.

When Elina and Simeon develop a magical mind link, he seems close to confiding in her. But an unexpected voyage takes Elina and Kara away from answers and towards unknown danger in Pallexon.

Alone in a strange country, with no identity papers, the situation rapidly turns into a nightmare when Kara is mistaken for a spy. With her own freedom at stake, Elina must rely on her wits and magic to save her friend and unravel the secrets of Pallexon.

Check out this amazing novel by Elise Edmonds. It’s available both in paperback and kindle formats.

Elise has also graciously accepted my invitation for an author interview where she shares tips and tricks on the writing process.

Look out for a special author interview with Elise on 18th February 2017.

CONNECT WITH ELISE:

elise-author-picElise Edmonds is a new writer from the South-West UK. Reading and writing have always been her doorways into another world—a way to escape and spend time walking with wizards, flying with fairies and dealing with dragons.

By day she is a finance professional, and in her spare time she pursues writing as a creative outlet, to put the magic back into everyday life. In addition to reading, Elise enjoys watching movies, playing the piano, and going to Zumba classes. Her greatest loves are God, her husband, her family and friends, and her two beautiful cats.

You can connect with her through her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Wattpad.

 

YA-NA Parley: Shannon Leigh Rivera

Dear Friends,

For this month’s YA-NA Parley, we have with us author Shannon Leigh Rivera.

Shannon is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University’s Creative Writing program and a YA/NA fantasy author. She graduated Summa Cumme Laude in June of 2016, and plans on returning to finish her MFA in Creative Writing in the near future. For now, she is working on her own publications.

shannon-book

Her work can be found in YA Seven Deadly Sins AnthologyEnvy and Gluttony editions available on Amazon and at shannonleighrivera.com.

Without further ado, here are a few snippets of our conversation.

Krisna: What would be your hero’s favorite real-world book? Your villain’s?

Shannon: If Talshae lived on Earth, she would probably be a huge fan of Joseph Campbell because he was a scholar of myths and legends, which is something she considers herself in her own world. The villain, not to give away too much about my antagonist, he would probably love anything that had to do with weapons- Jane’s Military Digest or anything that had to do with tactics or war.

Krisna: Are there themes you’re trying to bring out in your YA/NA that you feel are underrepresented?

Shannon: I believe that my writing really focuses on the importance of learning to love oneself. I want my characters to learn how to rely on themselves, rather than feel that they need to have another person love them in order to see their own worth.

However, I also focus on purpose over things, finding purpose over chasing things, which also plays into that. And the theme of duty, honor, and sacrifice, which isn’t something people really like to write about these days. Most YA/NA is about rebellion and breaking from traditions, while I explore the importance of traditions and the reasons for rebelling against the right things, or standing up for the right things, even if they are unpopular.

Krisna: Loving oneself, duty, honor and sacrifice – wonderful themes that are much needed in this world. It’ll resonate with a lot of readers. Speaking of readers, what can you tell us about your imaginary reader? Do you write with a specific reader in mind?

Shannon: I suppose this would be more like my imagined fan base. I suppose when I write, I am hoping that male and female readers will be able to relate to my characters and the world they live in. I tend to write more for a female audience, probably on the mature end of YA/NA, but I certainly don’t feel like the younger end would be turned off by the themes or mood of the story. Guys might not like the lead, Talshae, but they will certainly be able to get behind the male characters, especially Kaji and Lord Yu.

Krisna: If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose? Why?

Shannon: I would live in the world of Earthsea (Ursula Le Guin’s brainchild). Why? Two reasons- first- lots of water and islands. I am a sailor at heart. I love the ocean and I love being near the ocean. The water culture in her book appeals to me. Second- dragons.

Krisna: LOL! I’m a great fan of dragons too. *glances at clock regretfully*

We have time for one last question. Who was your favorite author as a child? Do they influence your storytelling now?

Shannon: The one author that has really stuck with me since my youth has been Anne McCaffrey. I remember the first time I read Dragonriders of Pern, I was just blown away. She was the reason I started writing fantasy, but also the reason I started reading more fantasy. I still branch out and read from every genre, but she is the one that introduced magic to me in such a way that I knew “this is it, this is what I want to do.”

Krisna: Thank you so much, Shannon, for taking the time to be with us and sharing insights into your writing.

Shannon: It was my pleasure…

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CONNECT WITH SHANNON:

When Shannon isn’t teaching writing classes or homeschooling her four children, she is writing serialized short stories for her fantasy blog. In addition, she is working on her first full-length novel, Of Rebels and Ruin, due out later 2017.

You can connect with Shannon through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads and her website.

Ask the Author: Heather Hayden

Dear Friends,

Today I have the pleasure of having with us the fantastic Heather Hayden, author of Augment.

As most of you know, I’m a fairy tale happily-forever-after person. But recently, I read a short story written by Ms. Hayden in the JL Anthology “From the Stories of Old”. It hooked me and left me reeling at the tragic yet sweet end. It’s one of the few tragedies that I actually liked.

So, naturally, I had to meet her and ask her a few questions about her writing process 🙂

Here are a few snippets of our conversation:

Krisna: Thank you so much for joining us today, Heather. Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you? 

Heather: Oh dear, that’s taking me way, way back… Honestly, I’m not sure I do. I have vivid memories of many children’s books, but I was able to read by the time I was five, and I don’t really have any memories from before then. I know one of my favorites was about a magic pebble—Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Since fantasy is one of my favorite genres to read and write today, I’m guessing that may have had an impact on me!

Krisna: Ooh, a story about a magic pebble! Interesting. Any tips on what to do and what not to do when writing? 

Heather: From my own experience, forcing yourself to write doesn’t often result in anything you want to see again, much less edit or publish. If you’re banging your head against a story, set it aside and do something else—go for a walk, do chores, hang out with friends or family—for a few hours, or days, or weeks. If you enjoy working on multiple projects, pick up a different one or start a new one. Don’t punish yourself for not writing. That negativity will become linked to writing for you and you’ll start to dread sitting down in front of the computer.

I find that music can help inspire my writing—I often have specific soundtracks for different stories. I also work on multiple projects at a time so if I’m not making progress in one, I can work on another. It can also be good to set a goal—pages, word count, time limit—for a writing session, whatever works best.

Don’t stop to check your social media sites, or email, or do the dishes, while you’re working toward that goal. Your mind might try to convince you that a minute or two of procrastination is fine, but don’t listen. Tie your muse down and just write.

Krisna: Those are some fantastic tips, Heather. Thanks a lot! LOL! I’m one of those who gets distracted by “1 minute” in twitter or FB or Scribophile 🙂

Where is your favorite place to write? 

Heather: Any place quiet, where I can listen to my music, away from distractions, and just write. I’d love to be able to write on the beach in the summer (and late spring and early fall, before it gets too chilly…actually, any time of year!), but unfortunately I can’t sustain writing by hand for long. I have issues with my wrists at times, and handwriting aggravates it, which is why I use my computer. Maybe someday they’ll invent a computer that’s safe for beach use.

Krisna: How do you relax? 

Heather: My favorite way to relax is to curl up with a good book, and maybe a mug of tea (or a glass of iced tea in the summer.) I also love going for walks on the beach, and listening to music. All of these are great ways for me to recharge my writing battery.

Krisna: Now for some questions on the JL Anthology… Your writers’ group, the Just-Us League, recently released “From the Stories of Old: A Collection of Fairy Tale Retellings.” What was it like collaborating with other authors to produce the anthology?

Heather: Overall, it was a lot of fun! Coordinating everything and making sure we all met our set deadlines was sometimes stressful, and it took a lot of hard work on everyone’s part to ensure our anthology was perfect when we released it, but I learned a lot from the process and I’m looking forward to working with everyone on future anthologies.

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Krisna: Could you tell me a bit about your story in this anthology? What inspired you to choose this story?

Heather: My story, “Beneath His Skin”, is a retelling of a selkie myth. I’ve always been fascinated by mythical creatures, especially those related to the sea, so when it came time to choose a fairy tale to retell, I found myself drawn to that of the selkie myth.

Selkies have always had two very distinct mythos–one involving female selkies, and one involving male selkies. In my story, I twisted the myths a bit, while staying true to the core of what it means to be selkie.

Krisna: It’s a powerful and heart-breaking story, wonderfully written.

Thank you so much, Heather, for taking the time to be with us today and sharing tips and tricks on the writing process. I wish you all the best in your writing career.

ABOUT HEATHER:

KODAK Digital Still CameraThough a part-time editor by day, Heather Hayden’s not-so-secret identity is that of a writer—at night she pours heart and soul into science fiction and fantasy novels. In March 2015 she published her first novella, Augment, a YA science fiction story filled with excitement, danger, and the strength of friendship. She immediately began work on its sequel, Upgrade, which continues the adventures of Viki, a girl who loves to run, and her friend Halle, an AI.

Her latest release is a short story “Beneath His Skin,” which is part of an anthology her writer’s group put together called From the Stories of Old: A Collection of Fairy Tale Retellings. You can learn more about Heather and her stories through her blog and her Twitter, both of which consist of equal amounts of writerly things and random stuff she’s interested in.

 

YA/NA Parley: Sue Seabury

I’m a big fan of YA stories. And if they have lots of magic and dragons, they go right to the top of my “Must-Read” lists 🙂

So this year, I’ve planned to interview some writers from the YA/NA genre, in addition to Fantasy. This month we have with us author, Sue Seabury.

Sue likes exotic travel, good food, and great conversation. Since she doesn’t often get to enjoy any of these things, she makes up stories about them 🙂

You can find her fabulous stories here.

So without further ado, let’s dive right in…

Krisna: Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

Sue: I’m no expert, but marketing is marketing. Give away something people want cheap or free.

Krisna: LOL! That’s a great way of putting it. Marketing is a field that most authors are wary about. But I guess, it’s all about building relationships. And when we give more than what we take (which is what giveaways are all about), we give our readers a good-feel and build trust. 

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?

Sue: I suppose I made them in not doing more research into how to market. I plan to correct that.

Krisna: That’s a good tip. Writing is one aspect, but to get our novel the exposure it deserves is critical too. Would you or do you use a PR agency?

Sue: I do not, but I would consider. As an introvert, marketing is automatically not my forte.

Krisna: There’s a lot of discussion among authors about book covers. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Sue: Yes. I believe everyone judges a book by its cover, no matter what they say.

Krisna: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Sue: Ignore negativity. It reflects on that person, not you.

Thank you, Sue, for stopping by. I wish you all the best in your writing career!

Fire Your Inspiration: Extra-Ordinary Things

Happy New Year, my dear friends!!

This year, I’m starting a new series of posts that is all about kindling our inspiration and keeping the fires of creativity and determination blazing in our hearts.

Any creative work including writing is all about inspiration. Our stories, our characters, our magical worlds touch our hearts and inspire us so much that we find no rest until we pen them down.

But there are times when inspiration is solely lacking from our lives, when the daily struggles of the “real” world bog us down and keep us tied for days and weeks together. One of the things that really helped me get out of this and get inspired again was watching inspirational videos. So in the “Get inspired” Posts, I’m going to share all the video clips and techniques that really touched my heart and pulled me up from the quagmires of banality.

Here’s one such video about Ordinary People Doing Extra-ordinary things.

Think your goals and dreams are almost impossible because of life-situations? Take a look at this video and think again…

At the start this year, I swear to myself I’ll not rest till I achieve my dreams just like these “ordinary” people did…

What about you?

Relax, Meditate, Rejuvenate

WHY MEDITATE?

Life today is full of stress and tension in all aspects – professional, personal and social. Be it work in the software industry, a medical hospital or university, there’s more and more competition and demands for perfection in stressful situations. And life at home is no less demanding.

How can one face all of this with confidence and, more importantly, a calm disposition that would get results?

By regulating the mind, increasing our capacity to focus and bringing a balance to our emotions and thoughts.

meditation

The Buddha was asked, “What have you gained from Meditation?”

“Nothing,” he replied. “However, let me tell you what I lost: anger, anxiety, stress, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death.”

WHAT IS MEDITATION?

Meditation is continually thinking about one object at a time. All other thoughts and ideas that divert us are ignored, while the mind is trained to bring the focus gently back to the object of meditation.

Now what happens when this is practiced every day?

mag-glassLike the magnifying glass that can focus the rays of the sun at one point and even drill a hole in wood, the  mind becomes much stronger, able to focus better and finish any task faster, more effectively and accurately.

Heartfulness Meditation also teaches its practitioners another very effective technique of mental cleaning. Through this cleaning process, one is able to remove all negative and weaker tendencies, stress, anxiety and anger. Combined with a simple and very effective meditation that reinforces the positive aspects of a person, and the cleaning that removes all the negative aspects, it becomes very easy to remain peaceful, balanced and stress-free in all situations.

And a balanced/ calm person  has better clarity of thought in stressful situations, makes the right decisions and hence is more effective.

Here’s how Heartfulness Meditation has helped thousands of people around the world:

Learn to Meditate this New Year by joining the free Meditation Masterclasses  from the 2nd to 4th January 2017 conducted by Shri. Kamlesh Patel (experienced trainer of Heartfulness meditation).

The masterclasses will be available online each day, starting at midnight, and accessible throughout the day. Each class runs about 1 hour.

Click here to register for the free meditation masterclasses.

Relax, meditate and experience the Infinite potential of the heart.

Wishing you all a fantastic and prosperous New Year!!

Learn to Meditate: Free Meditation Masterclasses

As many of you know, I practice Heartfulness Meditation and have found this to be incredibly helpful in my life. This meditation has brought so many positive changes and has helped me deal with tough life-situations that would have pulled me down otherwise.

meditationThe Buddha was asked, “What have you gained from Meditation?”

“Nothing,” he replied. “However, let me tell you what I lost: anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death.”

This is absolutely true for me. Meditation has helped me become more balanced, reduced my anger and stress, helped me face anything life throws my way with a heart filled with courage and belief that I can come through it successfully and, more importantly, stronger than before.

But why am I sharing all of this now?

Because today, I heard some really fantastic news 🙂

Kamlesh D. Patel (very experienced trainer of Heartfulness Meditation Institute) is personally conducting Meditation Masterclasses from the 2nd to 4th of January 2017.

All of these meditation classes are conducted absolutely free of charge as usual with the aim to help as many people of the world as possible to have a balanced and peaceful life. 

Check out how Heartfulness Meditation has helped people all around the world:

The New Year is a time for evaluating our lives, for making resolutions to improve and transform. And this is possible when we make use of effective techniques that achieve results in the midst of our rushed lifestyles.

Join Kamlesh D. Patel as he walks you through very effective ways to relax & meditate in 3 online video masterclasses.  You can practice these everyday in the comfort of your own home at any convenient time.

Learn how to:

  • Relax for physical well-being
  • Meditate on the heart and experience transmission to deepen your meditation
  • Simplify thoughts
  • Unwind the mind. Let go of stress and rejuvenate
  • Connect to your inner self and observe your deepest feelings
  • Make wise life choices
  • Find inner strength, develop confidence and balance
  • Nurture relationships
  • Find joy within

Each masterclass, for 40-60 minutes, will be available on consecutive days, starting at midnight throughout the day, on 2, 3, 4 January 2017.

This is an awesome opportunity for all people who are interested to learn meditation. 

Register once for all three days to receive an email with link to the videos.

Relax, Meditate and Experience the infinite potential of the heart!

I wish you all a very lovely Christmas and a fantastic New Year!!

Lots of love,

Krisna

 

Ask the Author: Lynn Miller

Hello Friends,

For this month’s Ask the Author post, we have with us Lynn Miller, author of The Sons of Rebellion.

lynn-millerLynn lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her love for storytelling started before she was able read or write but she only found the time to pursue this lifelong passion once she sold her software business. Her magical tales weave the blurred grey between good and evil with love, family and friendship.

The Sons of Rebellion, her debut series, tells the story of a family of fallen angels and their struggles balancing a personal and professional life with battling demons.

 

Krisna – Welcome, Lynn! It’s great to have you with us today.

Lynn: Thank you, Krisna. It’s my pleasure 🙂

Krisna: It’s really great that your love for storytelling started at such an young age. What is the easiest thing about writing?

Lynn: Developing the characters and allowing them to interact with each other. Dialogue and Character Dynamics are favorite parts of writing. It’s the part that comes easiest to me. How much do they share with one another? Who gets along with who? I am fascinated by how that just falls into place. Even if I didn’t plan with a particular dynamic in mind, I will go still go with it. On-Page chemistry is favorite tool.

Krisna – What has been the toughest criticism you’ve received?

Lynn – “Cut the first two chapters. It only gets interesting from chapter 3.” Seriously. I spent so much time tweaking those first chapters, it was a bitter pill to swallow. The person then went on to explain why and how and it turned out to be the best piece of advice I’ve received.

Krisna – Ha ha! I had a similar experience with my novel. Had to cut my prologue which was one of my favorite chapters because it wasn’t too relevant to the plot of book 1. But it’s more critical to book 2, so it’s definitely getting included there 🙂 

Without spoilers, is there any part you regret writing but is integral to the plot?

Lynn – There’s a death pretty early on in the story. I always knew that character would die, and I knew why. It was only once I started writing the scene that included them that I regretted not having the opportunity to dig deeper and find their story.

Krisna – I’ve found that writing the death of a character is always a tough thing to do especially if he/she is close to the MC. As the creator of that character, we’re more involved and know their potential. Speaking of main characters, do you prefer a single main character or an ensemble team?

Lynn – Ensemble. Always ensemble. I use three to four point of view characters per book but over the course of the series there is no real main character. Each character showed up because they are integral to the story. I just need to figure out why?

Krisna – Wow! Three to four POV’s is a tricky thing to write, with each character having a unique voice and characteristics.

*regretfully glances at clock* We have time for one last question. Writing is always a personal experience and each writer has ways that work best for them. Which do you prefer? Writing alone or in public?

Lynn – I stick my headphones in and pretend I’m alone. Most of the time, though, I’m interrupted because someone has “something very important” to tell me. In an ideal world, I would spend a lot more time at my favorite coffee shop. The waiters there know me and how I like my mocha. They won’t interrupt me to ask if I want a refill. And they’ll bring out an extension if there are no seats near a plug point. Sadly, it’s impractical to do that more than once a week.

Krisna: LOL! If only we could have more than 24 hours in a day… Thank you so much, Lynn, for stopping by. I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to answer all my questions.

Lynn: It was my pleasure!

CONNECT WITH LYNN MILLER:

You can connect with Lynn Miller through her website and Twitter.

Check out her debut novel, The Witch’s Pride (Sons of Rebellion, Book 1)The Witch’s Pride tells Jet and Laken’s Story.

Fallen Angel Jet has two weeks to find a witch or lose the most important weapon in the fight against The Devil. The powers that be decided eons ago that Jet will marry her and start a new generation of magic. Instead, he falls for a woman from his past: Laken – a fellow ER doctor and single mom with secrets of her own. Falling for her new boss seems masochistic, and that is before she learns about Jet’s part in her family’s secret and troubled history.

 

 

Review: Heart of the Winterland By Kristen Kooistra

HotWThe Princess
On her 200th birthday, the enchantment that holds Princess Calisandra in a state of apathy breaks. Full of questions about her kingdom’s history and what lies outside the borders of her snow-cursed kingdom, she leaves home in search of answers.

The Sorceress
Fate has always been against Amee. Orphaned as a baby, she grew up with darkness snuffing out what little light she could find in her life. When her spirit breaks, she sequesters herself in the border forest. Powerful and angry, she waits …

The Guardian
An orb formed to protect Cali, Voice has never had a purpose beyond caring for the princess’s needs. But as she joins Cali on her journey and the spell that confined her breaks, she starts to wonder about her place in the world.

The Captain
Captain Kota, in forced exile from her homeland, swears that never again will she be powerless. Ascending the ranks of the Shayal guard, her latest mission is to find the one who has escaped Duke Bludgaard.

The Fugitive
A desperate search has brought Angel far from her home, but now Captain Kota’s relentless pursuit keeps her from her task. When she crosses paths with a naïve princess and a sage orb, she finds more than she anticipated.

~*~*~*~

My Review:

Rating: 5 Stars

A fantastic story with gripping characters!

I just finished reading Winterland and am already itching to read the next book. I loved everything about this novel – the story, the characters, the plot twists and the amazing way Ms. Kooistra has weaved the back-story with the present.

Heart of the Winterland takes us through a magical journey with Princess Cali who wakes up after 200 years with new emotions that bombard her senses as the dampening spell cast upon her weakens. She leaves her home, Trabor, which is cursed to be a land of eternal winter to go on an adventure to meet other humans outside her borders.

Ms. Kooistra has done a fantastic job of showing us the range of emotions Cali feels as she meets different people on her journey and how she evolves from a child-like, innocent princess to become a queen who’ll lead Trabor into the future.

Cali and her guardian (the magical orb, Voice) meet various people along the way – the mysterious fugitive Angel, Captain Kota, Rose and others who help Cali to become the queen she is meant to be.

But of all the characters, my favorite is Amee, the dark sorceress who took revenge on the royal family of Trabor. Ha ha! You heard me right 🙂 I love the antagonist of the story too. That says a lot about Ms. Kooistra’s talent in writing gripping characters. From the first moment I met Amee, I connected to her, felt all her pain and rooted for her.

And that’s one of the things that really touched me about Winterland. It shows throughout the story that no one is completely evil. Everyone is shaped to be who they are because of things that happened in the past and, if they’re given a second chance, they can come out of the trap of negativity they are in and find their path.

All in all, I really loved reading this novel and would recommend this for all lovers of fairy tale, fantasy adventures and magical worlds.