Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blog Tour Stop with Megg Jensen!

      For those of you who've been following the tour, today is the last stop! And for those of you who are clueless as to what I'm talking about, this is the final stop for Megg Jensen's book tour for her latest release Oubliette. It's the second book of her Cloud Prophet Trilogy, and was a great follow up to Anathema.  For today Megg is doing an interview! So without further ado here it is! 

     1.  What was the inspiration for the Cloud Prophet Trilogy? 

On a trip to my parents’ farm, my daughter told me she could see things in the clouds. I asked her what shapes she saw. She sighed and said, “No, Mom. I can see the future.” (She has a great imagination.) In that moment, Reychel appeared in my mind. The plots for the next two novels evolved as I wrote.

2.     2.  How do you pick your titles? 

I always knew I wanted Anathema to be the title of my first novel because it’s my favorite word. Oubliette occurred to me at a particular moment while I was writing (I won’t say when to avoid spoilers). The same with Severed - I always want my titles to reflect something important in the book, without being obvious. 

3.   3.     Most of the characters have a magical ability.  How do you decide what form it manifests in? 

When I write the first draft of a novel, I let these things unfold naturally. I never force a particular gift on a person. Usually I’m just as surprised as the reader! However, I did have some clue what Krissin’s gift would be early on. The rest was a surprise.

4.    4.   The “spark” that identifies people as gifted is pretty unique.  What gave you the idea? 

I’ll be honest - I don’t remember. I wrote Anathema back in January of 2009, so it’s been quite a while. ;)

5.      5. You’ve often included readers in the process of deciding certain elements of your books.  What made you decide to do so?  Is it something you’ll continue in the future? 

I LOVE including readers in helping me choose character names. It’s one of the hardest parts of writing fantasy. I wanted to include readers because it gives them a sense of ownership in my books....and some bragging rights. I definitely want to do it again.

6.    6.   Have you always liked to write or is it a recent passion? 

I learned to read at the age of four and wrote my first novel at the age of seven. It was only seven pages long and about a unicorn. Since then I’ve written short stories, poems, song lyrics, created my own silly newspapers, etc. I even won a national writing contest in junior high.

7.    7.   Do you listen to music while you write or do you prefer silence?

I have to listen to music. Silence bugs me. When writing Anathema and Oubliette I use the Twilight soundtrack. 

8.     8.  What would Reychel’s theme song be? 

Since I used the Twilight soundtrack, every time I hear Decode by Paramore, I think of Reychel.

9.      9. After the conclusion to the Cloud Prophet Trilogy can we be looking forward to more books by you? 

I have another novel called Sleepers (Book One of the Swarm Trilogy) coming out by the end of July. I think after that I’ll be publishing a middle grade fantasy. Then Severed will release. Then I’ll continue on with The Swarm Trilogy. Then I have two more fantasy series in the wings. I also have a contemporary YA novel.

I’m very, very prolific. If I ever stop writing, it means I’m dead.

10. 10.   And most importantly, coffee or tea?  

Iced tea!!!! I don’t like hot beverages. I gave up iced coffee halfway through college - I was addicted to Cappio. I don’t even think they make it anymore. I couldn’t even find a Wikipedia page on it. Either I am totally spelling it wrong or I’m just really, really old.

Thanks for having me!!!

A big thanks to Megg for involving me in this tour! I greatly enjoyed Oubliette and am eager for the conclusion to the trilogy.  To read my reviews of Anathema and Oubliette click on the titles! And another little surprise! Megg decided to reveal the cover to Severed, the final novel to her trilogy, at the conclusion of the tour, so here's the cover! 

This is by far my favorite cover! It's just so stunning! And I love the fact that Reychel's hair is wild and free. Once again, a huge thanks to Megg!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review: Oubliette

Synopsis:Reychel thought she was finally free. She was wrong.

Everyone saw her gift of prophecy as a blessing, but her gift is uncontrollable. No one alive can teach her to manipulate her unique gift and the answers she needs lie buried within a madman’s journals.

She’s thrust in the midst of a brewing war and the only uniting factor for her people is their belief in the Prophet. Will Reychel learn to control her gift or will she be forced to deliver a false prophecy that could lead her people into a violent, unwinnable war?

My Review:After the end of Anathema I was truly at a loss for where the story was going to go.  I was expecting a lot of magical training sessions and discovering Reychel's gift.  Boy was I in for a surprise.  The plot just kept having twist after twist.  Oubliette was definitely not a filler novel, like so many sequels are.  Megg really keeps you on your toes with the unexpected.

At the end of Anathema things kind of ended in a shit storm. Mark ran off with the Sons, Ivy was being locked away, and Reychel was surrounded by hostile guards.  Things don't get any better when Reychel is thrown into the Southern Kingdom via portal. She's greeted by a hostile teen princess with attitude.  To make matters worse she's Nemison's daughter, who sacrificed himself to save Reychel.  Things only get worse when Reychel finds out that the Southern kingdom is  preparing to overtake the Melborn population, with the aid of the Sons of Silence.  Reychel is being pressured into having a vision of victory, yet Reychel's gift has seemingly abandoned her.  She struggles to discover the secrets to her gift of prophecy before it is too late. 

I absolutely loved the major twist in the novel. Of course, I can't talk about it because that would completely spoil it, but it was epic.  Trust me.  Reychel doesn't let the prophecy control her life and makes her own decisions.  She strikes out and makes her own path, and it is truly the highlight of the book. There were so many great surprises throughout the story, yet there are still a few that are left open ended.  The struggle for dominance between the two races, just got even more desperate.  Reychel is definitely feeling the heat, but I'm glad she stuck with her convictions.  She refuses to lie and give a false prophecy and I really admired her for that.

At the end of Anathema Reychel thinks that Mark betrayed her trust.  At the time I was really glad that Megg threw in some conflict between them.  Then I realized just how much I truly enjoyed Mark's character when he was gone from the story for a while.  I just kept wishing for him to come back! In the end it all was just a lack of communication and I'm glad that it didn't get blown out of proportion.  I really enjoy Mark and Reychel's relationship so I'm glad it wasn't drama filled.

As for the new cast of characters I was pretty pleased.  You just never know who to trust! I thought I had certain people figured out, only to have them completely surprise me.  And not in a good way either.  In the end though, Reychel discovers new friends in the most unexpected of places.

My one criticism on the book is the fact that there were just a bit too many unexpected turns.  There were so many betrayals and lies that it was just a bit too much.  It was pretty minor though and didn't detract from the story. Overall Oubliette was a great continuation of the Cloud Prophet Trilogy and I cannot wait for Severed!

Tomorrow Megg will be on the blog doing an interview with the conclusion of her Oubliette Tour.  And I've got a bit of a surprise for everyone too! Stay tuned!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm back!

So I'm betting all of you have been wondering, "Where'd Ky go?!" Sorry for the abrupt disappearance but I forgot to update the blog.  I was in Europe for two weeks, and believe it or not but Europeans do not believe in free wifi.  Most frustrating few weeks of my life.  Otherwise I had a great time!  But I'm sooo glad to be back.  Lots of reviews will be coming plus an author interview and tour for Megg Jensen and her upcoming release of Oubliette.  Updates will be fast and furious so I apologize ahead of time.  Oh and a giveaway/contest will be soon so be on the lookout! :)