Author Archives: Karyn Pearson

Stop! Rewrite!

When I first submitted Embers for edits, my editor sent it back to me with notes and corrections that didn’t even go past Chapter 3, and I was told to rewrite the whole thing.

In short, I was mortified. I thought that my entire book had to be awful for my editor to not have bothered to do a complete edit all the way through. I despaired for days. I convinced myself that I was a terrible author and that I’d probably never write another book again. In time, though, as the despair faded into determination, I realized that what my editor had done was really a blessing in disguise.

In Geisha, A Life by Mineko Iwasaki, the author recounts her journey to becoming a renowned geiko, starting back from her early childhood. While she was taking dance lessons, every girl there dreaded hearing their teacher tell them “stop!” For them, being told to stop was the dance teacher’s way of saying that their dancing was horrible and they should leave class and never return.

At one point, Mineko, who had been a proficient dancer and named successor of the okiya that took her in, received a dreaded “stop!” from her teacher and she returned home in tears. Upon arriving home, she was confronted and asked what was the matter. When she explained what had happened in dance class, she got an unexpected reaction.

The purpose of the “stop!” was not a punishment or an unofficial ban from dance classes. In actuality, it was a much-needed push. Mineko had been hitting a wall with her dancing, and her teacher had only been trying to give her that extra push to do better, to try harder. Ultimately, Mineko went back to dance class, and she returned stronger than ever, surprising even herself.

So, what does dancing have anything to do with my editor’s own instructions to rewrite Embers? I, too, was hitting a wall creatively. Writing Embers was a long and difficult process. I had a lot of challenges in life to overcome, so being able to create with such burdens on my shoulders was difficult.

When my editor told me to rewrite Embers, it was much like how Mineko had been told to stop. It was my push. I realized that it was the moment I could either allow myself to submit defeat and continue to wallow in despair, or I could stand and fight and turn Embers into the amazing novel it could be.

I’d worked too hard on it to give up. So I broke through the wall, and I shattered it. I came back strong, and now here we are, just days away from Embers‘ launch day.

So, I say to you other authors out there, don’t be afraid. If your editor tells you to rewrite your book, don’t greet it with despair like I did. See it for what it really is–the push to do better. Because what it boils down to is simply whether you’ll choose to give up, or choose to exceed everyone’s expectations, including your own. Face the challenge head on. You can do it.

Write the novel you were meant to. Take good and turn it into greatness. Take greatness and become extraordinary.

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Sitting Down With Nebula Nights’ C.E. Kilgore

NN_sidebarToday we’re joined by the lovely C.E. Kilgore, author of Noelle In His Heart, and contributing author of the Nebula Nights box set.

So, we posed the question, “Why did you choose to participate in the box set?”

Here’s what Ms. Kilgore had to say:

Why I Chose to Participate in the Box Set:

Participating in the box set, Nebula Nights, was a no-brainer for me. It gave me the wonderful opportunity to include my novella alongside some fantastic science fiction romance authors, as well as learn more about publication, marketing and working with a team to produce a book. It’s been a great experience so far, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

More About C.E. Kilgore:

C.E. Kilgore is an author without genre, who likes to dabble in several genres from romance to science fiction. She also enjoys pushing the boundaries of those genres, trying new things, venturing outside formulas and turning tropes on their heads. Admittedly a control freak, she is currently a self-published author under the name Tracing The Stars, and hasn’t quite found the publisher who fits all her quirks. Be sure to check out her website, http://www.cekilgore.com for free books!

About Nebula Nights

11 Sci-Fi Romances that’ll sweep you away!

If you like your science fiction blazing with adventure and your space opera spiced with romance, this boxed set is for you. From first contact to battles for survival and love on war-torn planets, this collection from bestselling & award winning authors, including Cathryn Cade, Veronica Scott, PK Hrezo and more, will leave you sighing with satisfaction.

Her Cyborg Awakes by Melisse Aires
Her gentle cyborg servant helped her escape violence–but now he’s changed into a warrior! Is he safe?

Removed (The Nogiku Series, #1) by SJ Pajonas
In this Japan-inspired tale, one woman’s family destiny is key to the survival of the last city on Earth.

Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. by PK Hrezo
Welcome to Butterman Travel, Inc., where time is always in your hands.

Noelle In His Heart by C.E. Kilgore
Noelle wishes for someone who understands she has love to give but commitments to honor. Stranded on Earth, Steve longs for someone who will understand that his alien heart can love just as deeply.

Stark Pleasure; the Space Magnate’s Mistress by Cathryn Cade
Kiri te Nawa survives the perils of the galaxy on her wits … although when it comes to space magnate Logan Stark, she’d rather use her body.
But can she trust him with her secrets?

Birth of an Empire: The Beginning by Catrina Taylor
Three former genetic experiments chose peace over war in a sector that’s known only war for a century. As each one squares against their governments they will question the experiences that guide them.

Escape From Zulaire by Veronica Scott
When the planet erupts into war, Sectors Special Forces Captain Tom Deverane must decide whether to save Andi Markriss, the intergalactic businesswoman he loves, or sacrifice her to save Zulaire.

Solia’s Moon by Lyn Brittan
SFR Galaxy Award Winner! When Dr. Solia uncovers her company’s foray into creating humanoid life, she enlists the help of her handsome ex, Sheriff Sable, in bringing a little justice to the universe.

The Key by Pauline Baird Jones
Her orders are simple: do the impossible and do it yesterday. But this time the impossible might actually be impossible. The only way it could get worse? If her heart starts beating for the wrong guy.

The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy by Greta van der Rol
The Galaxy teeters on the brink of war. Can ex-admiral Saahren persuade the woman who hates him to help him prevent the coming conflagration? And perhaps even love him?

Mirror Image by KG Stutts
Maddie’s entire world is turned upside down when she finds out that she is a clone. Now she must work with her counterpart to protect Earth.

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Purchase Nebula Nights:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks | Kobo

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Shingeki no Kyojin (“Attack on Titan”): An Introduction and Review

For those of you not into the anime/manga scene, one of the latest series that’s been a real hit in Japan is Shingeki no Kyojin (進撃の巨人 “Attack on Titan”) created by Hajime Isayama and published by Kodansha. It has been adapted into an anime series by Wit Studio (Season 2 pending a release date), and will soon be made into a live-action feature film. The story of Shingeki no Kyojin is classified as a dark fantasy/dystopian tragedy that centers on Eren Yeager, his adoptive sister Mikasa Ackerman, and their friend Armin Arlert.

We are introduced to a world wherein the human race is on the brink of extinction. Over a hundred years prior to the start of the series, giant humanoid creatures called Titans emerged and without warning, began killing off humankind. Now, man struggles to survive, hiding in a massive city protected by a series of three 50 meter high walls to keep the Titans out and what’s left of the human race safe.

Pictured: Armin Arlert (left), Eren Yeager (center), and Mikasa Ackerman (right), the main characters of Shingeki no Kyojin.

The walls are divided into three regions, Wall Maria, the outermost wall, Wall Rose, the middle wall, and Wall Sina, the innermost wall which houses the royal family, and ultimately, the safest place for human civilization.

When we first meet Eren, Mikasa, and Armin, they are twelve-year-old children and residents of Wall Maria’s Shiganshina District, living relatively peaceful lives. The worst that could happen to them inside the walls was Eren getting into fights with other kids and needing Mikasa to rescue him, or protecting Armin from bullies. But of course, as all stories like these go, their utopian-like days of peace were quick to end.

The last remaining human civilization and its three walls, Wall Maria, Wall Rose, and Wall Sina. Also pictured, the southernmost half-circle extension of Wall Maria–the Shiganshina District, hometown of Eren, Mikasa, and Armin. Second southernmost half-circle extension–Trost District, future home of the Shiganshina District refugees.

One day, a Titan appears outside Wall Maria. This Titan is unlike anything mankind has seen before–it’s massive, standing at over 60 meters tall–and peers over the wall. A second Titan appears in a flash of light, smaller than the first, but with armored skin. Then, the Colossal Titan does what every human being left alive has feared–it breaks a hole in the wall, leaving room for the Titans beyond the walls to enter the Shiganshina District. As Titans begin their rampage, countless human lives are lost in the ensuing chaos. The second Titan, the Armored Titan, deals the critical blow by smashing through Wall Maria.

And on this day, Eren’s life is irrevocably changed as he is forced to watch as his mother is eaten alive by a Titan. He and his friends, Mikasa and Armin, are able to escape to the interior of Wall Rose. Eren swears vengeance and vows to take back Wall Maria by enlisting in the city’s military and joining the Survey Corps, a branch dedicated to killing Titans outside the walls. Both Mikasa and Armin vow to follow his lead and they plan to enlist as well.

Titans by Class, scale ranging from the Colossal Titan to average-sized Titans to humans.

Three years later, Eren, Mikasa, and Armin, now-fifteen years old, graduates of the 104th Class,  are now looking forward to saying goodbye to their trainee days and starting out as members of the Survey Corps. But on the day before they can formally join the Corps, humankind comes under threat once more as the Colossal and Armored Titans make their reappearance outside the Trost District of Wall Rose.

Fifteen-year-old Eren encounters the Colossal Titan on top of Wall Rose.

Eren, eager to seek vengeance over the events of the years prior, tries to face off against the Colossal Titan on his own, only to have the Titan vanish in a cloud of smoke. Then, the Trost District wall is breached, and the events of Eren’s past threaten to repeat themselves as Titans flood the Trost District, devouring every human in sight, including several of Eren’s fellow classmates, who are forced to stand and fight as soldiers of the military.

The graduates of the 104th Class do their best to battle the Titans to allow the citizens of Trost to escape, but they find themselves quickly overwhelmed. Just as soon as a Titan is cut down, another takes its place as more enter Trost through the breach. The soldiers find themselves in a dire predicament: they’re running out of blades and compressed gas to power their special three-dimensional maneuver gear (3DMG), which enables them to fight the Titans.

Things take a turn for the worst as Eren and Armin find themselves cornered. As their comrades go down one by one, Eren himself is at the Titans’ mercy, as one Titan manages to bite off his leg as he attempts to withdraw. The shock of the injury causes Eren to fall unconscious, leaving Armin on his own. Moments later, Armin is in the jaws of a Titan, and Eren, having come to hearing his best friend’s screams, dives into the Titan’s mouth and throws Armin out so that he falls safely onto the adjacent rooftop below. Eren is devoured, and a stunned Armin faints from the trauma of simultaneously losing his best friend and nearly losing his own life.

Eren makes the ultimate sacrifice to save Armin from certain death.

And that’s when things in this series get really interesting. To think that this is only the beginning!

With a start like this, it’s no wonder why Shingeki no Kyojin is such a hit. I know I was pulled in right away, with the explosive action, Isayama’s strong characters, incredible voice acting (for the anime), sharp, punchy dialogue (for the manga), and an engaging story that draws from the ever-attractive premise of mankind’s struggle for survival.

I feel that what drew me most to this series wasn’t the hype as it made its way to the U.S., but the universe that it was set in. After imagining my own post-apocalyptic world, it’s always fascinating to see how other people imagine the final days of the human race. What sort of tragedy occurred to put the world in the state that it is? Who is the enemy here? What does mankind do to survive? How do we fight for our right to live?

That struggle from direst of circumstances to an eventual triumph is really truly fascinating for me. Everyone has a unique struggle, a certain obstacle to overcome. And when faced in these kinds of situations, it’s possible to see the true strength of the human spirit and how powerful the will to survive can be.

After having watched the entire first season in a period of less than three days (which I found myself foregoing sleep for the sake of watching episodes) and reading the manga (which also caused a similar loss of sleep), I can say that this series does not disappoint in the least. Just be prepared for a gripping story that will compel you to watch it from start to finish! All in all, I’m really looking forward to watching Season 2 and seeing everything portrayed in the manga come to life both in anime form and onscreen in its soon-to-be-released feature films.

The entire first season of Shingeki no Kyojin is available to stream on Netflix, Funimation’s website, and also on Crunchyroll. The first twelve volumes of the still-ongoing manga can be found in bookstores everywhere. New chapters of the manga are released monthly in Kodansha’s Bessatsu Shonen Magazine.

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The Hero’s Companion (Tallent & Lowery Book Three) Review

hero's companion cover

Title: The Hero’s Companion (Tallent & Lowery Book Three)
Author: Amy Lignor
Series: Tallent & Lowery
Published: October 22, 2013 by Suspense Publishing
Formats Available: Digital and Print
Rating: ★★★★★

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy from Page Turner Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and I was neither compensated nor required to write a positive review.

Blurb: With their second battle behind them, Leah Tallent and Gareth Lowery find themselves still knee-deep in hell. What should’ve ended with a celebration of passion wrapped in each other’s arms becomes a nightmare once more, as a mysterious man demands Leah to return home, or else her beloved father will be found at the bottom of the sea.

Scrambling to figure out what’s happened Tallent & Lowery walk in on a family that has literally gone insane: A mother filled with accusations, three sisters who wish them nothing but certain death, and a frightening story of a blood-red eye that leads to a puzzle with immense repercussions. The woman named Anippe who readers questioned in The Sapphire Storm is back, with an item in her possession that will have Tallent & Lowery heading out on an adventure based on pure emotion and ultimate fear – where victory may just depend on their willingness to sacrifice each other.

Excerpt:

The tour guide continued, “Medusa was supposedly just as lovely as Athena. Therefore, Athena made Medusa what she became – a hideous creature who could turn men to stone with just one look. Athena was the one who banished Medusa to the Land of the Grey Women. In that place lived three very shriveled and withered old crones. Some believe they were all Athena’s sisters and the Goddess had just gotten them out of the way. After all, she was firstborn – the powerful daughter of Zeus – and she was allowed to do most anything she wanted.”

“Can’t blame her. I’ve thought about putting my sisters on an island,” Leah mumbled, thinking about the gorgeous triplets back home.

“I’m glad I’m not a member of your clan,” Khait chuckled. “Anyway…a young man named Perseus went to kill Medusa but he had no idea how it could be done. He was aware of the fact that long before his sword could penetrate the scales on her flesh, she would be able to turn him to stone. That’s when Athena appeared and handed him her polished bronze shield. Perseus held it out in front of him and walked toward Medusa. You see, just the reflection off the shield could not turn him; only a direct hit from Medusa’s eyes would bring him down. With the help of Athena, Perseus killed the mighty Gorgon and cut off her head. Athena then placed the head within her shield, forever carrying it with her.

“But she helped more warriors than just Perseus along the way. There are many stories about Athena, and every hero she assisted spoke of her greatness, her wisdom, and her extreme cunning at being able to take down unstoppable foes.”

“I wish she was here,” Leah sighed. “There seems to be quite a number of those nowadays.”

Khait’s face grew serious; her tone turned sad. “I agree. The world needs the Hero’s Companion to live again. Unfortunately,” she continued, with a small laugh, “I think you have to find a real hero first. Most of them have gone the way of the Dodo bird.”

Leah remained silent, knowing that Gareth Lowery – a true hero – was right now standing on the steps of the Parthenon doing everything in his power to solve this new puzzle and find her beloved father before it was too late.

…The darkness inside the ancient structure was thick. Leah could barely make out the feminine figures etched in the marble walls. Heads were missing and the carved robes had been cut off at the knees. Yet Leah could see that the pattern remained the same; the familiar images of spear and shield were carved into the hands of each one of the young maidens.

Kneeling, she carefully inspected the floor and found…nothing. Getting more and more agitated, Leah began pressing her hands against the walls, silently hoping that a secret door would swing open to allow them access into another hidden level of the temple. Frustration and exhaustion overwhelmed her when absolutely nothing – no solution presented itself…the chamber was empty.

“Jesus!” Gareth’s sudden shout made her blood run cold. She forced her body through the columns to get back to his side. “What’s wrong?”

“You are not going to believe this!”

Following the bright beam of Gareth’s flashlight, Leah’s heart leapt into her throat. The high-pitched screech that suddenly erupted from the object made her body tremble. It was as if an evil trumpet had sounded, demanding the dead to rise from their graves and kill the intruders.

Her mouth turned as dry as the sun-bleached sands of the Acropolis, as Leah focused on the form that was caught in the flashlight’s glare. It barely moved. Only the dark eyes, growing wider as it tried to focus in the unfamiliar light, gave it away.

Leah sucked in her breath, “You have got to be kidding!”

My Review:

After the painful cliffhanger at the end of The Sapphire Storm, Lignor mercifully picks up right where we left off in The Hero’s Companion. Now, Tallent & Lowery are on a race against the clock. With only seven days to save her father from certain death, Leah must follow the trail from Athens and retrace the steps left on the map David Tallent hid away. But she won’t be going alone. With Gareth and Anippe at her side, the trio must work together to figure out the ancient mystery and uncover a plot that could spell the end for the world as they all know it. And it all starts with an olive…

Going into this book, I was more than excited to dive right into Tallent & Lowery’s next adventure. As a fan of Greek mythology (with Athena being one of my favorite Greek goddesses), getting to visit Athens with our heroes was thrilling to say in the least. I knew immediately I was in for one hell of a ride. And boy, did it deliver!

This book was a puzzle, and I had great fun putting the pieces together and figuring things out along the way. The air of mystery, exotic locations, and rich history that I got to see through our heroes’ eyes was all very fascinating. All in all, I really loved reading this book. But what I loved more was watching Leah grow.

To me, this book felt very much like Leah’s journey. The challenges she faces this time around and the internal struggle of believe-or-not-to-believe she wrestles with felt very real and it really resonated with me. The truth becomes both a blessing and a burden for Leah. The proof she’s tried so hard to deny thus far can no longer be ignored. She must now come to terms with her altered perception of the world as well as the role she plays in it.

Lignor has crafted another masterful tale packed with action, mystery, deception, and thrills, making The Hero’s Companion a more than worthy addition to the Tallent & Lowery series. Bring on the next adventure! I’m ready!

Purchase The Hero’s Companion from these fine retailers: Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

About the Author:

13319888The daughter of a career librarian, Amy Lignor’s first love has always been books. She began her career in publishing as the Editor-in-Chief of Grey House Publishing. Working in the industry for twenty years, she is now the Owner/Operator of ‘The Write Companion’, an editorial house offering authors a range of services.

Appointed the Editor-in-Chief of a brand new traditional publisher–Hallowed Ink Press–Amy somehow finds the time to do it all while still putting out the most amazing series that has received every ‘Top Pick’ readers can think of!

Her popular YA Series: The Angel Chronicles (Until Next Time, Gilded Wings & A Privilege), introduced her to fans who now wait with bated breath for the next ‘Tallent & Lowery’ suspense/thriller to arrive.

Inducted into the International Thriller Writers Organization, Amy is also a writer/contributor for various magazines, companies, and review organizations; Authorlink, The Feathered Quill, Suspense Magazine and more.

www.tallentandlowery.blogspot.com

Connect with Amy: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

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The Sapphire Storm (Tallent & Lowery Book Two) Review

SapphireStorm

Title: The Sapphire Storm (Tallent & Lowery Book Two)
Author: Amy Lignor
Series: Tallent & Lowery
Publisher: Suspense Publishing
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Formats Available: Digital and Print
Rating: ★★★★★

Disclaimer:  I was given a complimentary copy from Page Turner Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and I was neither compensated nor required to write a positive review.

Blurb: After going up against a man who believed he was the Devil, himself, the beloved characters from 13 – Leah Tallent and Gareth Lowery – are beyond exhausted. Now they are about to embark on the most terrifying journey imaginable…a trip to meet Leah’s parents.

When Leah arrives where the ‘home fires burn,’ her sarcasm burns even brighter, while Gareth Lowery – the handsome adventurer – uses his charm to sway the ‘odd’ Tallent clan. But when a frightening call from Gareth’s sister arrives telling him that her love has disappeared, the daring duo is soon running away from one horrific situation directly into another. A new puzzle from the past has come to life. Following clues left behind, the courageous couple becomes embedded in a world filled with liars, killers and greed.

And when the riddle of a famous ‘Bard’ is solved, a strange woman appears who has far more in common with Leah than she can possibly imagine! The heart-stopping suspense of this new quest takes them from Coptic Cairo to the magical world of Petra, in search of a cave deep underground that once housed a true ‘Illuminator.’

Yet again, they must find the answers and stay one step ahead of true villains who are determined to make sure that – this time – Tallent & Lowery do not survive.

Excerpt:

Nothing mattered now except getting to the end of his journey…

A thunderous crash from up above sent Emmanuel’s heart into overdrive. The harsh winds had apparently slammed shut the door of rock that’d been built to protect the Treasury.

As he reached through the barrier of sapphire light to grab the object in front of him, Emmanuel screamed in pain as his flesh began to sizzle. Immediately, he ripped his hand from the ball of pulsating light and watched the steam rise off his now blackened fingers. A pair of cold blue eyes appeared and sent an evil hiss into the room.

Emmanuel found himself in a state of shock as the illusion simply disappeared. Holding his breath as pinpricks of yellow light appeared through the sapphire glow, he was mesmerized; they looked like tiny suns trapped in an intense blue sky. The excruciating pain of his burned flesh was forgotten when words appeared before his eyes. On and off like a light switch, the golden names materialized and danced along the shaft of the ancient weapon.

“I need Gareth Lowery,” Emmanuel whispered; his voice sounded foreign to him in the suddenly terrifying room.

Harsh winds raced down the staircase and pelted Emmanuel with shards of ice. He covered his face, trying to stop the sleet from blinding him, as the large weapon suddenly sliced through the air and knocked Emmanuel to his knees.

The golden names flashed brighter and brighter—faster and faster—familiar names from an ancient world. A shrill bell pealed through the room and Emmanuel covered his ears, as the chamber began to shake and mounds of snow cascaded down the narrow staircase like a white waterfall; an avalanche that successfully cut off any chance he had of escape . . . or rescue.

The rod hit the ceiling of the chamber and then plummeted to the floor. Emmanuel winced, praying it wouldn’t snap in two as it crashed to the ground. But the object simply stopped its descent, taking its original place between the two famous men. The sapphire light immediately dimmed and Emmanuel raised his gaze to stare through the now soft, blue beam, recognizing the one and only name that was now etched in golden script at the top of the shaft.

Emmanuel gasped. “It’s her?”

Crawling over to the staircase that was now buried by snow, he peered into the small pipe that stuck out from the wall. Emmanuel felt the pulse of the sapphire light coming from the center of the room; it felt as if the object was breathing. And once again he stared at her name, woven like a golden signature into the sapphire rod.

Closing his eyes, Emmanuel shoved his burned, raw hand into the snow bank that now barred his way to freedom. As his fingers went numb, he thought about the woman with eyes the exact same color of the magical artifact, and hope beat inside Emmanuel’s chest. She was brilliant. After all, she was the one who found Gareth the missing pieces of the puzzle that’d led him straight to the gate. It had been her strength, courage and wisdom that’d carried them through the darkness of a maniac’s mind in order to survive the first time . . . Her!

As a picture of the lovely lady appeared in his mind, Emmanuel smiled. She’d figure it out. After all, there was no better choice than a brilliant librarian who never took the facts at face value to follow in the footsteps of Shakespeare.

Emmanuel put his mouth against the pipe and screamed, “Leah!”

The shout echoed through the ancient pipes, and Emmanuel closed his eyes. His insides grew numb as the air inside the chamber began to freeze his soul.

“Leah,” his voice cracked. “Please help me.”

As the snowflakes around him turned blue, the chamber one again turned peaceful . . . reverent . . . quiet—what it must feel like right before someone dies. And as sleep overtook him, Emmanuel begged any and all ‘powers that be’ to help lead Leah Tallent safely through the sapphire storm.

Purchase Links: Amazon (Kindle Version) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble (Nook Version) | Barnes & Noble (Paperback)

About the Author:

13319888The daughter of a career librarian, Amy Lignor’s first love has always been books. She began her career in publishing as the Editor-in-Chief of Grey House Publishing. Working in the industry for twenty years, she is now the Owner/Operator of ‘The Write Companion’, an editorial house offering authors a range of services.

Appointed the Editor-in-Chief of a brand new traditional publisher–Hallowed Ink Press–Amy somehow finds the time to do it all while still putting out the most amazing series that has received every ‘Top Pick’ readers can think of!

Her popular YA Series: The Angel Chronicles (Until Next Time, Gilded Wings & A Privilege), introduced her to fans who now wait with bated breath for the next ‘Tallent & Lowery’ suspense/thriller to arrive.

Inducted into the International Thriller Writers Organization, Amy is also a writer/contributor for various magazines, companies, and review organizations; Authorlink, The Feathered Quill, Suspense Magazine and more.

Amy’s Social Media Links: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

My Review:

In all honesty, when I signed up to do this review, I had no idea what I was in for, let alone what to expect. I hadn’t read the blurb or this book’s predecessor. I figured, “I’ve got free time. What the hell! Let’s review a book!” And let me just say that once I started, I was completely blown away.

Lignor creates a rich universe that’s part Indiana Jones, part The Da Vinci Code and weaves it together in a tale of mystery, lost relics, secret societies, conspiracy theories, and the history of iconic figures such as Shakespeare, Sir Francis Bacon, dating all the way back to the foundations of Christianity itself.

Having jumped in on Book 2 of this series, I had worried I would be lost and confused. But I quickly discovered that was not the case. Lignor masterfully avoids this pitfall and she uses just enough description to tell the reader what happened without launching into a complete recap of events in the previous book. I never felt lost or confused while reading, but I certainly desired to know the full story of Leah and Gareth’s previous adventure.

Along with a strong narrative, Lignor treats her work’s characters with great care. I bonded almost immediately with the four main characters–Leah, Gareth, Kathryn, and Emmanuel. Each of these four had unique and very likable personalities and they were all easy to relate to. Even the minor characters shine and clearly have their own back stories that are just as colorful as they are, from sweet little Mary to cryptic Anippe.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this installment in the Tallent & Lowery series and I will most definitely be going back to pick up a copy of 13 so that I can start this series off from the beginning. I know that I’ll be following the rest of this seven-book series, as I look forward to reading about whatever chaotic situation Leah and Gareth find themselves in next.

 

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IWA Officially Joins The Writing Network

Today I am pleased to announce that IWA is now officially part of The Writing Network (TWN). We’re very excited about this partnership–it’s been long in the making–and we hope that it’ll prove fruitful to both everyone here at IWA and at TWN. Let us all move forward together!

To find out more about TWN, click on the lovely graphic below:
twnpencillogo1

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Hello Everyone!

Hello IWA! It’s a pleasure to be a part of your group. My name is Karyn and I am the author of Spark, the first book in The Hellfire Trilogy, a story set in a post-apocalyptic earth in the midst of an ongoing angel/demon war with mankind caught in the middle. I could probably rant on forever about my book, but I’ll save that for the promos. This is supposed to be an introduction to me, not my book! So getting back to myself, I am a Class of 2013 graduate of UC Irvine and I have a Bachelor’s in anthropology. I speak, read, and write French, though not as well as I’d like—but according to my French-Canadian friend, my fluency level is better than some of the native speakers he knows in Montreal, so that’s encouraging. Anyway, I seem to have gotten onto a bit of a tangent. Expect this to happen quite often. My brain is weird enough that it makes logical connections between topics and suddenly I end up on tangents of tangents of tangents—oh look, I just did it again. See what I mean?

Moving right along, I should say that other than writing, I also love reading. But lately I’ve found myself so busy I can’t even sit still for a few hours to get a few chapters in on whatever book I’m trying to read. You see, I also have two dogs, my adorable fur babies, and they demand a lot of attention. Nikki, my German Shepherd mix, she always wants to play. If I sit still for a long time I usually end up with toys on my lap, or sometimes her head. Jamie, my purebred German Shepherd, he just wants to get some love from his favorite human. So needless to say, between those two, I’ve hardly got a moment to spare. It’s a miracle I get anything written at all!

But somehow I manage it nonetheless. My other interests, completely non-dog related, include playing video games like Kingdom Hearts, titles from the Final Fantasy franchise, Portal, Warframe, TERA, and sometimes even Guild Wars 2. The majority of my games are online, so you might catch me playing sometime. In which case, feel free to say hello or ask “Why aren’t you writing?” because every now and then I could use a good nudge (or kick) of motivation to get back to work.

I also enjoy music. Right now my current favorites are Imagine Dragons, 30 Seconds to Mars, and The Civil Wars along with my long-time favorites, Blue October, Incubus, Muse, and many others. I’d say my musical tastes are fairly eclectic, since my range of preferred music genres spans from Classical to Indie Rock and even a little bit of Metal. About the only genres of music I don’t really like are hip hop, R&B, and rap, with a few rare exceptions. I’m not too picky really.

Along with video games, music, and books, just like any normal person, I’m also a fan of many different shows on TV. In fact I have the CW’s Supernatural to thank for helping lay part of the foundation for Spark and the other two novels in the trilogy. I am a huge fan of Doctor Who, which is yet another show that has partially influenced yet another book I’m in the process of writing about aliens. Other shows I watch and love include The Vampire Diaries, Warehouse 13, Paranormal Witness, Covert Affairs, and so many others that the full list would be ridiculously long.

I know there’s a lot more about me to be said, but my heat-fogged brain can’t seem to come up with anything else. No doubt the hot weather has done something terrible to my brain cells. But in any event, if you’ve made it this far through my introduction, congratulations! My ranting hasn’t put you to sleep yet! Thank you very much for staying awake long enough to read to the end. I shall conclude this very long introduction by saying that I look forward to meeting everyone and getting to know you all and hopefully you all feel the same about me (provided I haven’t already scared you off with my eccentricity). It’s such an honor to be a part of the group and I look forward to working with everyone at IWA. Thank you for having me.

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