Jon Bragg Blue Essence by Kenney Myers is a thrilling adventure story filled with Norse mythology. The story explores the life of teenager Jon Bragg and the links his community has with the Norse God’s; Thor, Loki and Bragi. Jon is a regular, if not introverted, sixteen-year-old, with a passion for reading and poetry. His world is tipped upside-down when ‘Coach’ and his son Dustin move to Grinwell.
Jon Bragg’s Blue Essence is set in the town of Grinwell Iowa, in the present day. There are vivid descriptions of the cold and bitter winter conditions on Grinwell. The detailed clothing descriptions and music and technology choices all give the time setting an authentic feel. It contrasts well with the Norse mythology that is embedded in the story. The vivid descriptions immediately draw the reader into the story and make the setting feel authentic.
There are a handful of intriguing main characters in this novel, Jon, his parents, sister Jill and best friend Marc and Dustin, his father – Coach. Minor characters include other school mates and schoolteachers. The main characters are well described, in what they wear and their physical attributes. Jon’s small frame contrasts with Dustin’s athletic prowess. Their personalities are also well described, and also contrasting in unique and interesting ways that play off of one another well. Jon is quiet and reserved, Dustin is confident and self-assured. The dialogue differentiates each of the characters with vocabulary choices matching each character colorful persona. The relationships between the characters is interesting, as author Kenney Myers highlights the different social strata in high school and the differing relationships children and parents can have.
Although the story is told from numerous points of view, it is easy to differentiate as the characters are well developed and individual. The character names are indicated at the top of each chapter. The story immediately draws you in, beginning with Jon’s sixteenth birthday. This book is of particular interest if you enjoy reading about Norse Gods. Although mythology is an integral part of the story, the myths weave in and out of the story, combining modern day living with Norse mythology.
Jon Bragg Blue Essence is a riveting young adult fantasy novel that draws on Norse mythology in uniquely compelling ways to tell a rousing story that will keep readers fully engaged with this memorable book.
Pages: 197 | ASIN: B08VKSR87S
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Mythos Early Ireland recounts the inspiration of mystical Celtic traditions. What kind of research did you undertake to complete this book thought-provoking book?
I have always been interested in history and mythology from a young age but became more interested in the subject when I was working on a research project in my 20s for the Office of Public Works in Ireland. Archaeologists and assistants were employed to research the sites, monuments, and history of the area. I worked as an assistant, working with the team on site with archaeological field work. It also involved spending a lot of time in the local libraries collecting information from old manuscripts and books. From this learning experience, I became interested in mythological stories and started doing research for my draft manuscript.
The manuscript was first written in the early 1990’s and after a lot of editing it was accepted for publication by the Manuscript and Publishing Agency Ltd, UK and published in 2005. During the lockdown this year, I felt I needed to update and self-published my book with Kindle Desktop Publishing (Amazon). I am delighted with the control I have with the book publishing process on KDP and I have discovered a lot about book publishing.
Stories have been told throughout the years on this subject of mythology and early Ireland with publications as early as 11th to 12th century and I found some wonderful books that inspired me (18th and early 19th century), many out of print and were borrowed from the libraries at the time though some are my own personal copies. Books have always been a part of our life growing up as children; my dad often bought boxes of books for us at the local auctions, many which included works by Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde.
Do you plan to publish more books on this subject?
I have not planned any more books about Irish mythology, but this might change. There seems to be a lot of books out there already. I am really inspired by the classics, the old authors alive or dead and I have a full list of inspired works listed in Mythos Early Ireland.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, celtic, culture, ebook, goodreads, irish, kindle, kobo, literature, myth, mythology, Mythos Early Ireland, nook, novel, poem, poetry, read, reader, reading, story, tradition, Virginia O'Malley, writer, writing
Tideon: A New Myth follows the life of Tideon, and his mother, as Tideon makes a discovery that will change his life forever. After an accident gives him the ability to hear ocean animals, Tideon spends hours each day exploring the ocean, leaving his mother envious. But they both come to terms with their positions in life and learn much more in the process.
Tideon: A New Myth feels like the beginning of a larger fairy tale. Author Elizabeth MacDonald has written an enchanting story that mesmerizes you with its easy flowing words. Tideon goes on a magical journey that introduces readers to all sorts of animals and sea creatures. Along the way Tideon, and the reader, learns about God as well.
This book should be read by adults to children, as I think there are some large words and concepts that would need some accompanying explanation. While the story could be for children, I think it could also be for adults who want a light read, as the book goes into some deep topics. I really liked the relationship between Tideon and his mother, the conflict, and its resolution were the centerpiece to this story, I think. But the relationship Tideon had with his father was not explored and left me wanting to know why there was so much animosity.
The art in this book is phenomenal. The book is filled with some powerful imagery in muted colors that make the brighter colors pop when they appear and brings your attention to the important parts of the art pieces. Some of the pages were a single art piece that could easily be printed, framed, and hung on the wall.
Tideon: A New Myth is a mesmerizing story that provides plenty of material for internal reflection after reading. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a thought-provoking book to read to their kids.
Pages: 32 | ASIN: B08KGYDBY4
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Believe in Fairies by Wayne Gerard Trotman and Sherrie Trotman is a children’s story about why you should believe in fairies. It discusses topics such as how devoted fairies are to keeping plants alive. Fairies will put dewdrops on flowers to cool them and cover them with parasols to protect them from the rain! Fairies also love healing, and feeding the weak flowers. They take pride in taking care of their plants and your garden because the beauty of those flowers is what proves that their magic is real.
The authors of this story give beautiful descriptions and rhymes to captivate their readers. They provide details on how the fays take care of plants, and what exactly they do for them. The art is vibrant with plenty of action on the page that will certainly capture a child’s interest. I especially loved a sad little snail that appears about halfway through, so cute. There is much to learn and see while reading Believe in Fairies which is why I found this book to be so enjoyable!
Believe in Fairies is an enchanting poetry book that I think is perfect for young readers. Children will learn a lot about the fairies and walk away with a better appreciation for nature. Wayne Gerard Trotman and Sherrie Trotman will have readers believing in fairies in no time.
Pages: 32 | ISBN:1916184863
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Caught follows a mermaid who is captured by a vengeful pirate and finds that she may not want to escape his embrace. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?
I got my inspiration from the Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides. That’s where the idea of mermaids attacking a pirate ship came from also the Disney movie Sinbad where the water sirens’ were attacking the ship gave me the idea for establishing a difference between mermaids and sirens.
Lorelei is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?
I wanted her to have a strong connection to her family the ones she loves. It’s what drives her actions.
I appreciated the careful development of the mythology of this world. What were some themes that were important for you to capture in your story?
I wanted to show how even through one’s intentions might be pure in the beginning, if you’re not careful power can easily corrupt.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Claimed, Storm’s book which is book two in the series is next. It is currently in the editing process, and will be followed by Captivated Book Three which is Jewel’s story.
Y’keta has been banished and is on his own only to learn that the new place he calls home could be lost forever. He knows that he could help them, and others know he’s hiding something. What should Y’keta do? Should he tell the truth and save the village, or destroy everything these villagers have ever believed in? The right choice is not easy and takes a brave soul to make it.
I am a fan of North American Legends, so this book kept my attention the whole way through, and I felt myself anticipating each new page. The book feels realistic, and for much of the book, I felt like I knew the characters and that we were connected. If you like North American legends, I feel like this book would be a good one for people to read as it is a great journey to take. It also touched me to see the characters reacted to one another and their sense of duty in a genuine way.
I enjoyed the characters and the fact that Siann wants to forge her path. There were qualities in both her and Y’keta that I admired so much, though I was not Siann’s biggest fan, although I did like her character as a whole. I feel like there aren’t enough good female characters in novels today, and I liked that Siann didn’t fit into the stereotypical role. She was inspiring. However, more than the characters, I loved the author’s skills at details and creating such an exciting world. One of my favorite things about diving into a new book is the author’s ability to make such a fascinating world and such an intricate plot. The attention to detail was amazing.
When you read a book, you want to be hooked; this book certainly does that. Although I enjoyed the book, it took me a while to get into the story and feel invested on a deeper level. But after I did get invested I found this book to be riveting and emotional. I also enjoyed the intertwined stories that made me feel like I was connecting with all of the characters. I felt a personal kinship with Y’keta and his struggles and it’s for this reason that I will be looking into the author’s other books.
Pages: 287 | ASIN: B01N9V4M8C
Phantasia by Efthalia is the second installment in Efthalia’s Phi Athanatoi series. This novel follows Carissa, an ex-cop and demigod granddaughter of Zeus, as she embarks on the greatest mission of her life thus far – saving a few morally astray Greek gods from causing ruin and chaos to not only their ethereal realm in Mount Olympus, but also to the susceptible and unknowing mortal world below. Efthalia’s entertaining way of storytelling and character building, combined with a unique plot that blends romance, adventure, Greek culture, and Greek mythology, are all key aspects that make this a thrilling paranormal romance.
Even though this is the second book in her Phi Athanatoi series, Efthalia does a great job at building each character so that even if a reader picks up the book out of sequence, they have enough context about important details to still be able to follow the story line. Carissa and Xen’s romance is hot, steamy, and palpable in all the right ways, while still making apparent the couple’s devotion to one another. Even auxiliary characters, such as Carissa’s mortal family members, are given the chance to shine, reminding readers how embedded loyalty and familial ties are to Greek culture. All the characters are likable, realistic and have their own sense of morality that adds to the depth of the overall novel. Each scene is portrayed in a way that allows the reader to easily envision happenings as they unfold.
Efthalia is a brilliant writer who also uses her work as an opportunity to highlight Greek culture. Her numerous and regular Greek vocabulary and cultural references add significant depth to the reader’s experience. The Greek glossary at the end of the book, which provides definitions of all Greek vocabulary used throughout the text, is a further welcome touch. Her vivid depictions of each of the Greek gods in the story, from Zeus to Ares to Hades, reflect the well-researched nature of her storytelling.
There are definite aspects that are reminiscent of popular thrillers, such as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Since there are sexual scenes, depictions of alcohol use, and some images of violence, this novel is best enjoyed by an adult audience. I would recommend Phantasia and the rest of the Phi Athanatoi series to anyone with an interest in the adventure romance genre, as well as any aficionados of Greek mythology.
Pages: 289 | ASIN: B083TBWNPH
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Cycles of Norse Mythology does a fantastic job of reinvigorating old mythology and breathing new life into their stories. What was the inspiration that made you want to write this book?
I grew up knowing of Odin, Loki, and Thor long before reading comic books. But when I decided to learn more about the Norse gods and goddesses, I became dissatisfied. All the summary sources (e.g. Bullfinches’ Mythology) were about a handful of male gods; they provided little if any information about the goddesses and the animals that populated the world of Norse Mythology. Talking with other people, I found the same limited information.
So, I began researching the topic, more for my own understanding than anything else. Sharing what I knew with others inevitably resulted in requests for more background and tales from earlier in the mythology. So, I had to do more research and to write more stories. Ultimately, this work expanded to encompass the entire breadth of Norse Mythology.
I thought the research was deep delivered easily. What kind of research did you undertake for this book?
Cycles of Norse Mythology is the culmination of 16 years intensive study of Norse myths that involved consuming research literature, multiple translations of works (from 900 – 1400 AD), and story compilations published since the late 1700’s to the present.
I hunted public and university libraries for references. I sought out period references, such as Tacitus’ The Agricola and the Germainia and Ibn Fadlan’s Journey to Russia. I searched new, used, and rare bookstores for any reference. I dug into cited references and searched for those. I still encounter new references (i.e. works from 875 to 1400s), and I hope there are translations.
Always seeking something cleaner, with less bias, I found the following website provided me with an international access to reference source materials: http://www.archive.org/index.php
The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, they provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the public.
Was there anything that surprised you during your research regarding Norse mythology?
I had several great surprises in store:
- There was more depth and more humanity in the traditional characters of the Norse Gods than the superficial figures found in many pieces of modern literature and in film. For example, a modern viewpoint has Thor’s hammer as a symbol of storm and war. Whereas, in the traditional myths his hammer was actually a symbol of consecration and protection.
- The foundation of our knowledge on Norse Myth is based on fragments of what once was a full oral tradition. And the accuracy of those fragments is subject to question.
- The primary source of our knowledge regarding Norse Myth are the Codex Regius (1270s) and the Codex Wormianus (mid-1400s), of which editions of the Poetic Edda (~985 -1000AD) and the Prose Edda (~1220 AD) are a part. These were written down in Iceland, which wholesale converted to Christianity in 900AD to avoid the bloody religious conversions that had wracked Norway and Sweden. Since the writings were filtered through the lens of several generations raised under Christianity, and it appears only those tales and the portions of those tales which did not conflict too much with Church doctrine were kept, they are likely subject to differences in tone, focus, character presentation, and bias that are different than the traditional unfiltered belief.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m currently finishing up a fiction novel that pays homage to three great Victorian characters of literary fiction: Sherlock Holmes, Dr. James Watson, and M_______―the time traveler of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. It is set firmly in the Victorian era, with all the social attitudes and prejudices of that time. I am hoping it will be out next spring.
A new work under development involves the Sigurd Myth, but it is too early to provide a timeframe.
These stories are old, old as the Behmer Wold and seldom in life has there been such a brewing…
Cycles of Norse Mythology captures the passion, cruelty, and heroism of an ancient world. Encompassing Odin’s relentless pursuit of wisdom across the nine worlds, Gullveig’s malicious death at the hands of the Æsir that sparks a brutal war with the Vanir, Thor’s battles against the giants of Jotunheim, the tragedy of Volund, the many devious machinations of Loki, and the inescapable events of Ragnarök, this lyrical re-imagining of the Norse myths presents the gripping adventures of the Norse gods and their foes in a style to delight modern readers of all ages.
A detailed glossary provides a quick reference to the meaning behind names and terms used in the book.
A Source Reference is included for persons who want to delve deeper into the study of Norse mythology.