Garkain follows a young woman who goes to Australia to uncover her past and finds a supernatural world she never thought existed. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting story?
My own adoption, in a way. Amelia’s beginning is the same as mine. I was adopted as a baby from a hospital in Houston, with an Australian heritage. The rest however, is quite different. As an adopted child though, I think we all have these questions of where we come from, why we were given up. I took those questions and constructed a truly fantastic tale for Amelia, letting my own imagination run wild. I’ve always loved the Paranormal and Young Adult genre, but grew tired of the usual things you’d find. I wanted to give readers a truly unique experience. To frame the story in an intelligent way, and bring vampires and werewolves into a new age.
Amelia is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?
A desire to showcase the central character as more relatable to the strong young women of today. Empower her to make her own choices, live by her own rules, and stray from the stereotypical submissive female lead, who’s at the mercy of a vampire. She defies the role she’s expected to play in the Legacy, which I think was the most fun part to write. She’s strong-willed, and sometimes stubborn, while remaining completely relatable and feminine at the same time.
I enjoyed the lore that you’ve created in your world. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce into the vampire/werewolf mythology?
“We’re not who you think we are.” I wanted to explore what vampires culture would be like in present times. How it might have changed over the centuries. The characters in the story are completely believable, as if the Colony really could exist. Maybe it does . . .
This is book one in The Uluru Legacy Series. What can readers expect in book two?
I’m so very excited to share the next book, with so many questions left at the end of Garkain. I’m anticipating releasing it for preorder around the time Garkain is released to the public.
The second book takes a deeper look inside the Colony itself. The questions readers have from the first book will be answered, as new questions come to light, and a new danger makes itself known. We explore more about he central characters introduced in the first book, delving deeper into their true motives and plans for Amelia and Roan. And of course we see the relationship grow between them as well. New discoveries are made, and new relationships made as well. What I can promise, are plenty of surprises. So, stay tuned!
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Tags: Anna J Walner, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, Garkain, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, occult, paranormal, read, reader, reading, romance, story, supernatural, writer, writing, young adult
Garkain is the first book of the Uluru Legacy by author Anna J. Walner. She introduces us to a world where vampires and werewolves live in secret societies. Set in Perth, Australia, we follow one tribe of Garkain, the vampires, and another of Larougo, the lycanthropes or werewolves. Amelia is unique because she is the first to have both Garkain and Larougo blood. She was abandoned at a hospital when she was born, and at age 25 she’ll try to find out the truth about where she comes from. In the process she’ll reconnect with her Garkain mother and the rest of her lost family, get to know all that there is about the Uluru Colony, the Garkain tribe to which she belongs. Having lived in the United States all her life, Amelia will travel to Australia to have the opportunity to meet her real family for the first time, only to soon have to make a very hard decision, to go through the Unbinding ritual to finally become Garkain, leaving her mortality behind, or to go back to her normal life in the States as a human. She has the chance of becoming the bridge that will unite the Garkain and the Larougo, natural enemies, and gaining new gifts from both to possibly strengthen the genes of the future Garkain and Larougo generations to come.
Garkain is a story about family and love, with some political background between the Garkain and the Larougo that adds a layer of tension to this emotional novel. I enjoyed following Amelia’s journey as she realized who she really was and got to know, for the first time, how it felt to have a real family to support her and stand by her. I liked her character a lot and loved reading about her relationship with Roan, one of the Larougo. They had a lot of chemistry and seemed to be a great support for one another, despite coming from very different families. This is a great introduction to the Uluru Legacy, which promises to be entertaining. We get to learn about how the Garkain and Larougo work and organize, their rules and the gifts that they have, all of it created with imaginative flare. The story deals with themes such as family and romance, and leaves hints of possible political fights among the Garkain and Larougo for future books of the series, which left me intrigued, wanting to find out more about what’s going on and what role Amelia is going to have to play in all of this.
I’m eager to see how Amelia’s and Roan’s relationship will develop in the next books, and what decisions they will make as significant and powerful members of the Garkain and Larougo families. Garkain by Anna J. Walner is a riveting dive into a fantastical world that is rich in supernatural lore. This thrilling fantasy novel is ideal for the fans of the paranormal and supernatural genres, especially those who have developed a love for vampires and werewolves.
Pages: 228 | ASIN: B08R2DDMG1
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The Keepers of the Light follows an ordinary young man who finds out he’s destined to be a leader and face a dangerous enemy. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that was different from book one?
It was important to make the transition in this book to full-blown fantasy in a believable way. We are dealing with some classical fantasy elements n a contemporary setting so I really wanted this to feel believable. I approached this by asking myself if this were actually happening, how would these characters respond?
Garrett continues to be a compelling character. What were some obstacles in the story that you felt were important to his character development?
Trust. Every adult in Garrett’s life has lied to him about who is his entire life. Trust is, and will continue to be a challenge for him, and understandably so. The other issue for Garrett is leadership. He will have to take the reins in this series and lead. He will have to stop seeing himself as a just a kid and step up or humanity may not make it.
What was one of the most challenging scenes in this book to write?
The scenes inside the underground temple were tough because there were so many moving parts. I spent a lot of time with a tape measure, measuring out distances in my yard, throwing things, yelling, running around, and essentially acting it out. Yes, my neighbors may think I have issues and they may not be entirely wrong:) Without giving away any spoilers, let’s just say it was tough with a whole group of humans and a handful of magical creatures to keep it clean and clear for the reader. Alternating between Breanne and Garrett’s perspective each chapter while controlling pace added to the challenge. My editor and I went back and forth a lot trying to perfect those scenes. In the end, I think the extra effort was totally worth it.
This is book two in your God Stones series. What can readers expect in book three?
Book three will take Garrett and his companions on a journey across the country as the world deteriorates into an apocalypse. There are still plenty of issues, both new and old, the friend’s need confront, overcome, and make peace with. Book three promises danger a plenty with dragons, giants, and what I am most excited about, a massive army of supernatural creatures that have been right here under our noses this hold time. I have been hard at work on book three and am excited to share that the rough draft is complete, and edit will begin very soon. Expect book 3 later this year!
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In This Mess You’ve Made, author D.J. Hawkins gives the reader a story which explores themes such as depression, grief and suicide. Chapter by chapter we follow the different points of view of two high school teenagers, Savannah and Aryn. Through them we see their struggles and how they’ve almost given up on life but, after meeting each other, they’ll realize that there still might be more out there for them. Hanging onto hope, Savannah and Aryn’s relationship fuel a flame inside of each that could change everything. Their love might be exactly what’s necessary to save themselves. Darkness meets light, hatred finds love, D.J. Hawkins shares with us the possibilities of healing and recovery despite the brokenness of one’s soul.
From the very beginning Hawkin’s writing is incredibly descriptive and full of emotion. The reader is able to paint a mental picture of how the main characters see themselves and their lives. The reader gets a very clear glimpse of how broken they are, how they feel and how they view the world. Allowing the reader to be immerse in each of their stories and experience a path that goes from helplessness and loneliness to hope and love.
The importance in our existence of friendship and family is shown, given that their impact can make the difference between life and death. It was nice reading about the varying relationships: both Savannah and Aryn have supporting friends that truly care about them and try their best to cheer them on and push them through life despite their misery. When these two meet, they understand perfectly how each other feel. Their darkness is what will unite them in the first place, bringing with it the light that they very much need.
The story can be heartbreaking at times, but hope keeps the reader wanting to see where everything is going to lead to in the end. I only wish that we had been able to see a bit more of the characters’ personalities, in particular of Savannah’s, but I guess that everything that she had to go through didn’t allow for her to show or develop much of herself. On another side, it was great to follow Savannah and Aryn’s relationship growth, which made me want to read more about them together, because the story was so much more deep and passionate when they’re on the page.
This Mess You’ve Made is a riveting coming of age romance novel that examines mental illness, recovery, and the importance of healthy relationships in an engaging and thought-provoking way.
Pages: 228 | ASIN: B08KTLVKPN
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Phoebe Douse: The Return by L. Samuels is the second of three books in the thrilling young adult mystery series, Phoebe Douse. It begins with a string of unfortunate events that will force Phoebe into actions she is neither ready to accept nor eager to follow through with. All seems well for a time, until she makes the mistake of turning on the television and seeing the breaking news about a man found dead. A man she killed. Forced to team up with Renaud, Phoebe plunges into a supernatural world filled with striking imagery, global destinations, and a good bit of history. The Return sets up the final book in the series perfectly and will leave readers on the edge of their seat throughout this riveting paranormal fantasy.
Phoebe Douse: The Return was a highly anticipated follow-up novel to L. Samuel’s previous novel, at least for me it was. The Return continues to be consistently engaging and keeps moving at a quick pace. I would highly recommend finishing the first book in the series, however, as it will help establish characters and their backstory. This book is written in the first person and the author does a fantastic job of packing the story full of intriguing characters, puzzling supernatural events, and shocking twists.
This novel, and the entire series I think, centers around Phoebe and I like how this is turning out to be much more of a character driven adventure, although fun and light, something like Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Phoebe’s destiny is revealed but as with most things in this series, it comes with some dramatic consequences that kept me absorbed in the novel.
Author L. Samuel has written an enchanting urban fantasy novel that excels at weaving supernatural elements into a fun story that feels fresh within a packed genre. Phoebe Douse: The Return is fun and exciting and is a must read for those who read book two, and highly recommended to readers looking for an urban fantasy with more mystery in their adventure.
Pages: 322 | ISBN: 1732284679
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Carried Away follows the life, love, and friendships of a young woman reliving a vivid memory of her last high school year. What was the inspiration for the setup to this riveting novel?
Leila’s journey was inspired by events and people in my own past. Although made fictional, it really was a story written straight from my memory and heart. I wanted to write a story that was relatable and realistic, and I felt that I accomplished that with Carried Away. Many of the experiences in the book are reflective of actual happenings in my life, like the prom draw that my high school has held for over 100 years.
Leila is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some sources that informed her character development?
Like I said before, Leila and her journey were inspired by my own past. Leila, like myself, grew up right before the social media explosion, and I feel like it was such an incredible time to grow up. I think most 90s and early 2000s kids will be able to find something of themselves in Leila. I felt that Leila displayed emotions, insecurities, and desires that were very reflective of the times.
What are some themes that you wanted to explore in this book?
I wanted to write a story that was real. I’m a teacher, and I have many former students who are now in high school who love to read. I really wanted to write something realistic for them. I felt that Carried Away showed the fragility, and resiliency, of friendships in high school, the incredible natural high feeling that is only felt when you have your first real love, and the realization that life moves on, and can be amazing, after a breakup.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m currently finishing up the sequel to Carried Away, called Love Always. It picks up Leila and Leo’s story a few months after Carried Away ends (before the epilogue). It should be available in the spring of 2021. Once I’m done, I will be moving on from Leila’s story to something completely new.
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Tags: A. E. Brouhard, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Carried Away, college romance, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, new adult, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, story, teen fiction, writer, writing, young adult
It’s the summer before senior year and Leila is excited to start this new phase of her life, preparing for adulthood, alongside her best friend Trin, both of them will find that love and friendship can become enemies very quickly. She’ll have to navigate the ups and downs of life and what originally started as a way to mend her broken heart proves to be a challenge to her loyalty. She’ll have to make polarizing decisions that could shake her world up.
Carried Away by A.E Brouhard is a coming of age story that shows us an intriguing life through the eyes of the main character. Carried Away is a riveting teen drama, where we are introduced to the life of Leila, following her in her daily routines, learning about her desires and getting a good glimpse into her social life. Brouhard does a fantastic job of humanizing the characters, making them each relatable and authentic. While the story may feel monotonous at times, it picks ups with the introduction of new characters and their dynamics with the protagonist livens things up. Leo, for example, we meet him very deep into the story and he shifts the narrative and brings tension between the two main characters that has to be resolved or else they’ll face consequences.
The narrative felt appropriate for a young adult audience, with simple words and a consistent delivery of dramatic events makes the pacing feel quick and makes it hard to put the book down. We are also let into Leila’s inner monologue which adds depth to her character.
Carried Away is a contemporary drama that will appeal to readers looking for a romance story that’s grounded in reality but still has passionate and believable characters. Author A.E Brouhard has written an entertaining romance novel that explores life, love, and friendship.
Pages: 232 | ASIN: B0873VHYHP
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Her Tale was Told in Whispers by Mutch Katsonga is a haunting coming-of-age story about a young man who becomes fixated on a girl named Marcy who he witnesses being bullied at Knoxridge High School when they are teenagers. He does not join in bullying Marcy, but he doesn’t stand up against the bullies either. Then one day Marcy disappears, and when she reappears briefly, he feels regret for not defending her against the bullies. A short time later, he leaves Knoxridge High after a disturbing incident, and it is many years before he sees Marcy again. When Marcy vanishes from his life yet again, he is determined to find her. But will learning the truth of what really happened all those years ago change everything?
This was an intriguing story that kept my interest from the beginning all the way through to the end. As I read the book, I had many questions that I wanted to find the answers for, which kept me turning the pages. I liked the consistent element of mystery and uncertainty in the story. All the threads started to come together at the end, with the reader learning the true significance of many of the previous events. I liked that there was a surprise twist at the end which I did not expect. This book is a short novella that can be read in a few hours.
While I enjoyed this story, I felt that the flow of the story felt a bit disjointed, going from the time when Marcy was fourteen being bullied in high school, then recalling events from her earlier childhood, and then jumping to when Marcy is twenty-one years old. Also, I wanted more details around who was the narrator, where the story was taking place, and in what time period.
With those minor distractions aside, Her Tale was Told in Whispers is a riveting mystery novel that follows the lives of some very intriguing characters. With a rich atmosphere and easy storytelling, I think this would be a perfect book for fans of young adult literature.
Pages: 103 | ASIN: B085FW88BT
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