Thursday, August 30, 2012

Character Interview with Mason + Giveaway: Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts

Last year, Jeyn wrote a guest post for Dystopian Domination. This time, I will be interviewing Mason, one of the characters of Dark Inside (one of my favorite books ever) and Rage Within.


Can you tell us about yourself?

My name is Mason Dowell. I'm 17. I grew up in Saskatoon, which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. My Dad died when I was younger. I was pretty much raised by my mother but she died recently in a car accident. In fact, it was her death that saved my life.

I'm not really much of a talker. I'm more of a 'take action' kind of guy. Sadly, I don't always think before I do things and that gets me into trouble sometimes.

But I'm a good listener. And I care about my friends, even if I don't always show it.

What do you think of the present world?

It sucks. I feel like I've been tossed into a blender and I'm slowly drowning and being torn apart at the same time. Everyone I love or care about has died. My mother. My friends. And now I'm stuck with a bunch of strangers who look up to me to protect them. All I really want is to be left alone. When I'm alone, I'm not a danger to anyone.

There is a small light through all this darkness though. Aries. She's really been there for me. She likes someone else. But she likes me too. I guess everything's really complicated these days.  

What was the first thing you did when you got here?

I got really hammered and then pretty much barfed all over my bedroom. Then I burned down my house. Sounds crazy, I know. But I didn't know how else to deal with the pain. So I headed to Vancouver. I met Chickadee along the way and she made everything better for a while. Because of her, I went straight to Stanley Park and felt the ocean. The water was cold. It made me feel alive for the first time since all this happened.

If you lived in our time, who would you be? What would you do?

My friend Tom and I were planning on going backpacking through Europe. That would have rocked. I spent the last few summers working at the golf course to save money. I had a few grand saved up. I suppose it's still sitting in the bank somewhere. Useless now.

After travelling, I'd probably go to university. I still have no idea what I wanted to study. I was interested in all sorts of things. It would have been neat to be a teacher maybe. But I don't know. I'm not sure if I'm the teaching type.

What is your favorite thing about 2012? Why?

I'm stronger now. Stealthier. 2012 is all about revenge. Our whole group is growing stronger. We're not about to sit around any longer, waiting for death. The Baggers might outnumber us, but they shouldn't turn their back on us for a second.

I like having that control. I like knowing that I can protect people...even if I talk about wanting to be alone all the time. I'm not sure what I'd do without Aries and the others. I guess they're my new family.

If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for? Why?

1. I'd like to see Chickadee  and my Mom again.
2. World peace? haha How about a gigantic time machine?
Sorry, there's no third wish. I don't like playing games like this. Talking about it only makes everything worse.

About the Author:

Jeyn Roberts grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and started writing at an early age, having her first story published when she was 16 in a middle-grade anthology called LET ME TELL YOU.

When she was 21, she moved to Vancouver with dreams of being a rock star, graduating from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Writing and Psychology. For the next few years she played in an alternative/punk band called Missing Mile before moving to England where she received her MA from the prestigious Creative Writing graduate course at Bath Spa University. Jeyn is a former singer, songwriter, actress, bicycle courier and tree planter.

An avid traveler, she’s been around the world, most recently, teaching high school in South Korea.

A lover of animals, Jeyn volunteers regularly with helping abandoned and abused animals, especially cats.

Follow Jeyn: Site | Twitter | Facebook

Giveaway: Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts

If you haven't read Dark Inside...you should! I highly recommend it!

Aries, Clementine, Mason and Michael have survived the first wave of the apocalypse that wiped out most of the world's population, and turned many of the rest into murderous Baggers. Now, they're hiding out in an abandoned house in Vancouver with a ragtag group of surviving teens, and trying to figure out their next move.

Aries is trying to lead, but it's hard to be a leader when there are no easy answers, and every move feels wrong. Clementine is desperate to find her brother Heath, but it's impossible to know where he'd be, even if he is still alive. Michael is still haunted by the memories of his actions during his harrowing struggle to survive. And Mason is struggling with something far worse: the fear that he may be a danger to his friends.

As the Baggers begin to create a new world order, Aries, Clementine, Mason and Michael will have to trust and rely on each other in order to survive.

Rules:

Follow Fragments of Life
You must be at least 13 years old
Open internationally

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare


Book Description via Goodreads:

Paperback, 496 pages
December 6, 2011, Walker Books (UK)

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends. The special Collector’s First Edition will include a never-before-seen letter from Will to his family!

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Source: Bought

Warning: Might contain spoilers for those who haven't read Clockwork Angel. Read at your own risk! (Or you can just skip certain parts of this review.)

My Thoughts:

Clockwork Prince is definitely better than Clockwork Angel. I have been putting off picking up this novel for months. I’m happy that I finally read it – it’s one of the best sequels I’ve read so far.

The love triangle: Jem-Tessa-Will

After reading the book, I don’t know whose team, exactly, I’m on. Will, the Jace-like persona, was annoying and arrogant. As expected, he has a dark secret behind this façade: he was cursed. Everyone who loves him will surely die, like his sister did. He was forced to push away the people he cared for; including the girl he loved (Tessa.) I just felt so bad for him. It must have been so difficult to live like that. Will’s life was the life of a martyr with the mask of indifference.

But Jem was a different matter. He was the sweetest ShadowHunter in their history. With the Chinese features, the silver-bathed hair and eyes, as a consequence to his addiction and his fragility…I just couldn’t bear it to not side with him. I want an almost happy ending for Jem even though according to Clare tradition, it might not happen. In Clockwork Prince, he stepped out of his shell. He was no longer the shy gentleman who played the violin at night. He shed his skin, showed his weakness to Tessa and embraced his fate and love for her. He knew what he wanted and he took risks to get it.

Tessa, on the other hand, was not as likable as the other two. I’m a bit turned off with how she dealt with Will. But, of course, I couldn’t really blame her. All the time, she thought Will hated her. In this installment, I didn’t see the warlock Tessa – but the human one. Despite her abilities and her inhumanity, she was still in touch with her humanity. She was still searching for answers about her true identity. She’s another tragic case – everything she knew about herself and her parents was a lie. There were several scenes in which, while reading, I ached for her. I found myself sympathizing with her.

Romance, humor and sarcasm were abundant, balancing out the epic proportions of tragedy in the novel, as well as giving me enough time to breathe and slightly recover before the onslaught of another unfortunate revelation/event. As usual, I loved Clare’s writing: show not tell.

Clockwork Prince is more addictive with just the right amount of ingredients (romance, tragedy, humor and paranormal) to leave an unforgettable taste in my mouth (after I devoured it.) I highly recommend this to fans of Clare, readers who like urban fantasy, paranormal and steampunk!

Note: The short stories included in this edition (collector’s edition) were great as well. 

Rating:





Monday, August 27, 2012

Cover Reveal (and LOVE): Naturals by Tiffany Truitt


Hi everyone! I’m fortunate to be a part of the group of bloggers who will reveal the beautiful cover of the sequel of Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt.

Without further ado, here is the beauty:


Tess is finally safe from the reach of the Council, now that she is living in the Middlelands with the rebel Isolationists. With James having returned to Templeton, she easily falls back into her friendship with Henry, though her newfound knowledge of Robert’s chosen one status still stings. Even surrounded by people, Tess has never felt more alone. So she’s thrilled when James returns to the settlement, demanding to see Tess — until she finds out that it’s because her sister, Louisa, has been recruited into Tess’s old position at Templeton, and that the dangerously sadistic chosen one George has taken an interest in her.

NATURALS is the second book in The Lost Souls trilogy, and follows the dystopian hit CHOSEN ONES.

Do you want Naturals? Pre-order it!

About Tiffany:   

Tiffany Truitt was born in Peoria, Illinois. A self-proclaimed Navy brat, Tiffany spent most of her childhood living in Virginia, but don’t call her a Southerner. She also spent a few years living in Cuba. Since her time on the island of  one McDonald's and Banana Rats (don't ask) she has been obsessed with traveling. Tiffany recently added China to her list of travels (hello inspiration for a new book).

Besides traveling, Tiffany has always been an avid reader. The earliest books she remembers reading belong to The Little House on the Prairie Series. First book she read in one day? Little Woman(5th grade). First author she fell in love with? Jane Austen in middle school. Tiffany spent most of her high school and college career as a literary snob. She refused to read anything considered “low brow” or outside the “classics.”
Tiffany began teaching middle school in 2006. Her students introduced her to the wide, wonderful world of Young Adult literature. Today, Tiffany embraces popular Young Adult literature and uses it in her classroom. She currently teaches the following novels: The OutsidersSpeakNight, Dystopian Literature Circles: The Hunger GamesThe GiverThe Uglies, and Matched.

Follow Tiffany: Site | Twitter

So what do you think?



Friday, August 24, 2012

(Stereotypes) Guest Post by Kate Hinderer - Emerald Isle Blog Tour


Hi everyone! Today, I’m going to let someone else run the blog for today (at least for a moment.) I asked Kate to write about character stereotypes.

Hey, I’m author Kate Hinderer and I’m lucky enough to be guest posting for the day as part of the blog book tour for The Emerald Isle. This book is part paranormal, part contemporary fiction and has adventure, romance, suspense, and a whole lot of sand.  (The book can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.)


(Left) Chris Pine as Tristan. Photo from bestof.provocateuse.com
(Middle) Nina Dobrev as Audyn. Photo from cdn04.cdnwp.celebuzz.com
(Right) Jake Abel as Levi. Photo from geektyrant.com

The Emerald Isle, and especially the guys in the book, play into stereotypes and turning them on their heads. Tristan is the dark-haired, tattooed, muscled brooding bad boy. When he first appears on the scene, Tristan terrifies Audyn with his mere presence. Levi, on the other hand, is the classic all-American boy next-door type. He’s got shaggy blonde hair and comes off as bashful and reserved. Audyn immediately falls for his quiet charm and shy demeanor. But in the end, things don’t turn out like they seem and stereotypes are turned on their sides.

I like playing with stereotypes and proving them wrong. We’ve got enough stupid stereotypes in the world why create one more with a story in which I can control the characters? I find, the books I like the most are ones that steer away from the typical football player dating the cheerleader surrounded by all the beautiful people in the world. I want my characters to have more dimension than that. I want them to be complex, like humanity really is. In a manner of speaking, I want my characters to live their own lives and be their own person, free from the expectations that the world or society places on them.

At the same time, I think stereotypes help to quickly create a mental picture and set the stage for what’s to come. Hopefully, readers are drawn into the fact that Levi seems like this adorable boy who could be your best friend or first love. Hopefully, too, they find Tristan to be dark and mysterious; someone with a haunting past and secret to hide. As an author I took advantage of the natural connotation that comes from a guy with a full arm-sleeve tattoo and then went and threw a curve ball into his character.

You’ll have to let me know if this ploy worked.

About Emerald Isle

To escape a bad break-up and fighting parents Audyn takes a job as a lifeguard at Fascination Island. The posh five-star resort lives up to its name in every way, including the strange rules the owner has about entering the water at night. Despite declaring it a boy-free summer, it isn’t long before the shy, endearing Levi and the mysterious, tattooed Tristan begin vying for her attention. When Levi tries to push his advantage and Tristan comes to the rescue, Audyn realizes there is more to both these boys and the island they inhabit. Suddenly, she’s forced to acknowledge a reality she’d never considered and to pick a side in the conflict that has been waging for decades.

About Kate:

Kate is a journalist by profession. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications such as The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune special sections, The Milwaukee Business Journal, RelateMag, The SuperMelon, MercatorNet's Tiger Print blog, Sadie Magazine...

She started writing stories and novelettes in 7th grade. Her teachers thought she was copiously taking notes, but really she was penning stories about her classmates. That passion only increased in high school. The stories became longer and the passion for writing was deeply ingrained. As a junior she resurrected her school's student-run newspaper and opted to pursue a journalism career to harness her love for writing into a payable profession. Still the stories never stopped flowing.

Kate also writes a fashion and lifestyle blog called ModlyChic 

Follow Kate: Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook