Saturday, December 10, 2016

Author of the Week: Bryn Greenwood


November went so well that I decided to extend the Author appreciation features into December...
The Holiday season is a great time to express how thankful you are for the big and small things in your life. For me, I have a wonderful family and so many blessings... One of which is being able to read books! Now there are many things that contribute to that blessing, but the main contributors are the Authors that write the stories I get lost in. I wanted to show my appreciation for their time and effort, so I decided to feature a favorite Author of mine each week in November & December. The seventh featured Author is Bryn Greenwood. I came across her book, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things and quickly became addicted. The premise was a tad taboo, but GOSH! it's my favorite of 2016. I found it to be heart breaking and beautiful all at the same time. You MUST check it out -http://amzn.to/2eX2M9b -& yes, that's me being bossy ;)
MEET THE AUTHOR OF THE WEEK:

BRYN GREENWOOD is a fourth-generation Kansan and the daughter of a mostly reformed drug dealer. She is the author of the novels All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Last Will, and Lie Lay Lain. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas. 
YOU CAN CHECK OUT HER PAGES HERE: TWITTER: @bryngreenwood INSTAGRAM: @bryngreenwood WEBSITE: www.bryngreenwood.com, FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/bryngreenwoodwriter/ Bryn Greenwood was kind enough to indulge us with some interview answers & you won't want to miss the last one. *** A work in progress and there may be a mermaid involved! <- I'm sold already! Interview Question #1: What is your favorite Winter tradition? BG: Staying inside underneath a pile of blankets with my dogs. Interview Question #2: If you had to describe your writing using just one sentence... What would you say? BG: writing is very spare, but full of intense emotion. Interview Question #3: Are you thankful for any one person that inspired you to write? BG: My grandfather, who read voraciously and never questioned that writing was a valid way to spend my time. Interview Question #4: If you could only read two books for the rest of your life... Which two would you choose? BG: Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now and William Goldman's The Princess Bride. Interview Question #5: What book are you most thankful for? BG: The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. LeGuin Last, but not least ... Interview Question #6: Are you working on any upcoming releases? BG: I'm working on several things, none of which have a release date. One is a young adult novel about surveillance cameras and secrets. The other is adult fiction about a set of triplets, a baseball player, and a mermaid. That concludes the interview... Now let's get a glimpse from my review. "Readers are either going to hate this one or love it... For me, it was a book that instantly captured my attention and held me captive through the final page. I can't remember the last time I was so eager to indulge in words. There was something about the underlying taboo and the emotional turmoil on the surface that helped me look past the age difference and realize that Wavy was forced to grow up faster than normal and it wasn't because of Kellen. She was verbally abused by her mother, was forced to care for her little brother, and was in the company of drugs, sex, and alcohol. The only constant in her life was Kellen. He protected her, paid for her education, and in a some weird way.. was *the normal* part of her life. Their relationship started as guardian/child, but then as time progressed so did the feelings and intimacy. It's not honorable to play off of a child's emotions and I want to think that Kellen tried his best to keep her at arms length. The problem was that Wavy felt alone and unwanted when Kellen pushed her away. Without him she had no one so he did what he did to keep her close. Yes, she was young and yes, it was very wrong... But in some twisted way, it was also very right. Wavy may have been young, but she was mature and knew what she wanted. Together they made their ugly lives into something wonderful." Check out the full review here... http://readerscandyy.blogspot.com/2016/08/all-ugly-and-wonderful-things-by-bryn.html To end this feature, I want to say THANK YOU to Bryn Greenwood for taking the time to participate in our fun appreciation event. I truly believe that each book is a work of art that deserves so much praise. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things may gravitate away from the norm, but it's a read you won't forget. Please check it out!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Author of the Week: Stephanie Oakes

November went so well that I decided to extend the Author appreciation features into December... The Holiday season is a great time to express how thankful you are for the big and small things in your life. For me, I have a wonderful family and so many blessings... One of which is being able to read books! Now there are many things that contribute to that blessing, but the main contributors are the Authors that write the stories I get lost in. I wanted to show my appreciation for their time and effort, so I decided to feature a favorite Author of mine each week in November & December. The sixth featured Author is Stephanie Oakes. I came across her book, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly and was blown away by how unique it was. It was an eerie story that packed a hard punch. I became addicted fast and that's why it's a top read from 2016. I hope you will all check it out! -http://amzn.to/2dGCPcC
MEET THE AUTHOR OF THE WEEK...  Stephanie Oakes lives in Spokane, Washington, and works as a library media teacher in a combined middle and elementary school. She has an MFA in poetry from Eastern Washington University. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is her debut novel. You can check out her pages below... Website: www.stephanieoakesbooks.com Twitter: @StephanieEOakes
Author Stephanie Oakes took the time to fill out this fun interview so BE sure to read on... I'm told she reveals info on an upcoming release! Interview Question #1: What is your favorite Winter tradition? SO: My favorite winter activity is visiting to a town near me, Leavenworth, Washington. The entire town is modeled after a Bavarian village and it basically looks like an old-fashioned Christmas card. You can get hot cocoa and go on a sleigh ride and eat really good food. It's kind of awesome.  Interview Question #2: If you had to describe your writing using just one sentence... What would you say? SO: Hopefully, my writing draws people in with great characters and stories that stay with them for a long time. Interview Question #3: Are you thankful for any one person that inspired you to write? SO: My mom has been a huge cheerleader for me. I've often talked with her about aspects of the writing process that I'm struggling with and she always has the best advice. Interview Question #4: If you could only read two books for the rest of your life... Which two would you choose? SO: Any Harry Potter book (if I had to choose...Goblet of Fire) and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. Interview Question #5: What are you most thankful for? SO: I'm so thankful that I get to write books and talk with readers, either online or at book events. There is probably nothing better in the world than that for an author. Last, but not least ... Interview Question #6: Are you working on any upcoming releases? SO: I have a book coming out in summer 2017 called THE ARSONIST, a YA mystery that I'm very excited about! That concludes the interview.... Now it's onto my review of The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly Here is a snippet: "I'm not even sure how to summarize this book without saying that everyone just needs to read it. There are so many unpredictable twists and turns that my brain was swarmed with multiple possibilities. I wasn't sure how everything was going to turn out, but I felt a weight lift off my chest near the end. The story just kind of danced off the pages into beautiful bliss. Minnow finds peace in her own way and even though I still had questions, my heart was content. I definitely urge all to read this one and if you have similar recommendation please let me know!"
You can find my full review HERE

To end this feature, I want to say THANK YOU to Author Stephanie Oakes for taking the time to participate in our fun appreciation event. I truly believe that each book is a work of art that deserves so much praise & The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly does not disappoint so please, please check it out!

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

There are winged horses that live in the mirrors of Briar Hill hospital. In the mirrors that line its grand hallways, which once belonged to a princess. In those that reflect the elegant rooms, now filled with sick children. It is her secret.

One morning, when Emmaline climbs over the wall of the hospital’s abandoned gardens, she discovers something incredible: a white horse with broken wings has left the mirror-world and entered her own. 

Tucked into the garden’s once-gleaming sundial, Emmaline finds a letter from the Horse Lord. He is hiding the wounded white horse, named Foxfire, from a dark and sinister force—a Black Horse who hunts by colorless moonlight. If Emmaline is to keep the Black Horse from finding her new friend, she must collect colorful objects with which to blind him. But where can Emmaline find color when her world is filled with gray?



MY THOUGHTS:
5/5 STARS

This tiny book packed a hard punch... While it was wrote for Middle Graders, I found it to be very inspiring. The theme was high fantasy with magic laced between each word, but overall, the concept was very dark and eerie with a lot of meaning. 

It's a story about a young girl in a hospital for the sick. She sees winged horses in the mirrors and eventually finds one in the garden. There is a darkness that hovers over their safety though. In order to protect the horse, Emmaline must bring color to the gray atmosphere. It's a rich story about hope and dreams. A historical fiction that meets Narnia of the sorts.

You can't go into this one without an imagination though... The story has a strong foundation, but it's up to the reader on how they interpret the Author's words. For me, the black horse was death. I felt that darkness looming over Emma just threatening to take her life at anytime. I think for others though it could symbolize many things. It's all about perspective, age, maturity, and so on. I found myself truly touched after finishing this one... It really opened my eyes to the world around me. I found myself observing the color more and being appreciative for the simplest things.