Was it a chance meeting in the Daisy Cafe that brought a father and his boys from Macon, Georgia, descendants of slaves, into the life of a descendent of Swiss Mennonites, or was it the mysterious workings of the father’s grandmother, Momma Daisy? August Kibler tells the stories of his own life and the lives of Tyler, Johnny, and Jimmy through the tragedy and grief, and the joy and gratitude, that each discovered along the way. The generous spirit they share is a gift to any seeking greater understanding when you believe you have little in common. Yet it is through sharing that August discovers a deep reverence for Momma Daisy and Pappy Jemison, and for the legacy of love and mettle that defined their lives. August challenges our certitudes as, in his own life, he says, “I would rather have doubts and be wrong than to be certainly wrong.” Tyler and August bear witness to what might appear to be ordinary lives, yet which both see as nothing less than extraordinary.
Worldshaper follows Shawna as she discovers the ability to shape her world, but also discovers that their’s an evil entity threatening her world. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting story?
I’ve always thought it would be interesting if authors could live in the worlds they’ve created. The setup for the Worldshapers series makes that a reality. So that was one bit of inspiration.
The other was simply my desire to come up with a series idea that would allow me to write all sorts of stories. I like to compare it to Doctor Who, the greatest storytelling concept anyone has ever crafted. You can tell any story within Doctor Who because the Doctor has the ability to travel anywhere in time in space. So there have been stories set in Victorian London, in the far, far future, on strange planets…literally anything is possible. The Worldshapers series, where Shawna is tasked with travelling from world to world within a vast interdimensional Labyrinth of Shaped worlds, gathering the knowledge of their making to take to the mysterious Ygrair so she can save all of these worlds from the Adversary, likewise permits any kind of story I want to tell.
Shawna’s ability to shape worlds is intriguing and I loved exploring it in the book. What were some driving ideas behind this ability?
I think it goes back again to the power we have as writers to make changes within our stories. Most of us have had the experience of writing entire scenes or chapters that we changed our minds about and discarded. What would it be like if you were living in a world where an author did that? Something you experienced would simply never have happened…but the author would still remember it. That’s exactly what happens when Shawna shapes her world. She’s essentially a writer editing what she created on the fly. But just like changing scenes in a novel can have unexpected consequences later on, forcing the author to replot or perhaps even to change the ending from what he or she originally planned, so Shawna’s Shaping of her world keeps having unintended consequences that complicate her life.
Shawna visits many different worlds throughout the book. What were some scenes that were you favorite to write?
She only visits one world in the first book—her own—but she sees quite a lot of it. I think my favorite bits were the journey on the sailboat, the Amazon (named after a boat in a favorite series of mine as a kid, Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome) and then the adventures in the tunnels of the mysterious island at the end, which reminded me of playing Dungeons & Dragons. Oh, and the time in the mountains, especially the encounter with the bear…
This is book one in your Worldshapers series. What can readers expect in book two?
Book 2, Master of the World, just released in mass-market paperback (after coming out in trade paperback and ebook formats last fall), sees Shawna on her own, separated from her companion, Karl Yatsar, and having to make her own way across a world inspired by Jules Verne—so it’s full of strange flying machines and steampunk submarines and floating islands and weird weapons. I had a ton of fun with that one.
Book 3, The Moonlit World, will be out September 15, and the best way to sum it up is my unofficial working title, “Werewolves and Vampires and Peasants, Oh My!” It indeed takes place in a world Shaped by someone very fond of werewolves and vampires…as, of course, am I.
For Shawna Keys, the world is almost perfect. She’s just opened a pottery studio in a beautiful city. She’s in love with a wonderful man. She has good friends.
But one shattering moment of violence changes everything. Mysterious attackers kill her best friend. They’re about to kill Shawna. She can’t believe it’s happening–and just like that, it isn’t. It hasn’t. No one else remembers the attack, or her friend. To everyone else, Shawna’s friend never existed…
Everyone, that is, except the mysterious stranger who shows up in Shawna’s shop. He claims her world has been perfect because she Shaped it to be perfect; that it is only one of uncounted Shaped worlds in a great Labyrinth; and that all those worlds are under threat from the Adversary who has now invaded hers. She cannot save her world, he says, but she might be able to save others–if she will follow him from world to world, learning their secrets and carrying them to Ygrair, the mysterious Lady at the Labyrinth’s heart.
Frightened and hounded, Shawna sets off on a desperate journey, uncertain whom she can trust, how to use her newfound power, and what awaits her in the myriad worlds beyond her own.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: adventure, author, author interview, book, book review, bookblogger, contemporary fantasy, dark fantasy, ebook, Edward Willett, epic fantasy, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, supernatural, suspense, thriller, writer, writing
In her latest book, Allison Rose takes us through a roller-coaster of emotions finalizing in a hopeful yet uncertain ending. The Court of Outcasts is a contemporary fantasy novel filled with treachery, betrayal, and a twist of unexpected loyalty. While it begins with the main characters; Nola and Kelty, trying to adjust to their new normal, they are yet to realize how much weirder things could get.
With the introduction of a new foe, everything goes haywire as old enemies become new friends in the pursuit of a common good. Nola, though she looks like an ordinary teenager realizes that she is far from it. Torn between her mundane high school existence and the allure of the mystical faerie world, she embarks on a journey that will eventually force her to choose one of the worlds.
On the other hand, Kelty faces trials of her own. Battling with the uncertainties of her love life and the painful reality that she may never go back home, she has to make difficult decisions about who to trust amid chaos.
While the book does inspire a sense of awe and curiosity, it can be a little hard to follow if you haven’t read the previous book. For instance, the use of mystical language like ara can take a while to wrap your head around. However, the author goes through great lengths to explain foreign concepts in simple terms. She uses a lot of descriptive language to not only explain the woodsy setting of the book but also the emotional and psychological states of the characters.
This book gives you a clear description of both the physical and personality traits of each of the characters. The story begins with gentle explanations and hints about things to come. Yet, little can prepare you for the great plot twists ahead. The story seems to intensify from page to page until it reaches a breathtaking climax. As a reader, I am yet to get the resolution I need and have ended up with great fantasies about what is to happen next.
This is a great motivation to read the sequel if there will be one. Allison has done a phenomenal job in capturing the emotions between characters and tension in scenes, although more could be done in developing the story of supporting characters like Sayra and Lark. Another aspect that is yet to be fully explored is the romance between Nola and her love interest.
However, I do appreciate that the author could be saving this for the next book. Apart from what is on the surface, there are serious and compelling themes that subtly color the narrative. The ones that truly stand out are the importance of family and sense of belonging and perseverance through dark times. These are themes that I and many others can relate to, and it kept me devouring pages.
Pages: 246 | ASIN: B0851VPMPX
Tags: adventure, Allison Rose, author, book, book review, bookblogger, contemporary fantasy, ebook, fairy, fairy tale, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, magic, mystery, nook, novel, paranormal, read, reader, reading, romance, science fiction, story, supernatural, teen fiction, The Court of Outcasts, writer, writing, young adult
If you’re new to the Fayborn series, grab yourself a copy of Her Unwelcome Inheritance to get started – and DON’T read on until you do, because the Sneak Preview below contains ***Spoilers***
Sneak Preview: A First or Final Mischief
Her aunt’s been abducted.
Her mother is missing.
Her enemy is waiting.
And the person she counted on for help is dead.
Too late to free the Faerie Queen, Petra Godfellow and her allies face a terrible choice: Either Petra surrenders and swears to serve James Oberon, or he will torture her Aunt Penny.
If she agrees to James’s demands, the Faerie kingdom will be restored… with James on its throne, and Petra condemned to eternal servitude. Any alternative abandons Penny to torture and her mother to an unknown fate.
Unless, of course, the Cat chooses to intervene…
A First or Final Mischief is available from Amazon here.
About the Author
Aleksandr Wootton is a self-confessed bookworm (“hoards books in shelves and spare rooms; likes to sleep surrounded by them”), fairytale enthusiast, and poet. He pretends to chair the Folklore department at Lightfoot College, but much prefers writing, gardening, & long conversations accompanied by a well-brewed pint.
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