ARC Review: Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle (Kiwi Series) by Vickie Johnstone

Hi everyone, as promised, I am going to be posting my reviews here on this blog. So, here is my first review after the move! I know it has been a really long time, but I am back to reviewing books now.

Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle (Kiwi Series, 4)Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle by Vickie Johnstone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Please read this first: The story of this book draws a lot from the stories of the first three books. So, it is possible that spoilers will creep into my review. If you haven’t read the first three books, please don’t read any further.

I have to start by saying that I have loved each of Kiwi’s previous adventures, and this one is no different. Vickie’s books have grown in scope and complexity, which is something I really like. The kids, at whom this series is aimed, can now grow along with the books.

The latest instalment of the Kiwi series is slightly different. For one, this is definitely not a stand-alone book, or something which can be read out of turn. The story in this book draws on plotlines from previous books, and a number of minor characters from previous books return now. Secondly, this book can clearly be divided into two distinct parts. Although, these parts are intricately linked, with one progressing effortlessly from the other, you can clearly see where one part ends and a new one begins.

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Blog Update and a new Home! Also, a BIG giveaway!

As many of you know, I have kind of shut down the blog due to personal commitments as well as a new job. The main reason for this was that I believed that I could not really find the time to keep up the blog.

While speaking with Alexia, a very dear friend, we game up with an ingenious and perfect plan to relieve some of the pressure of blogging and also allow me to continue doing what I love. So, without beating around the bush, here is the announcement!

I will be joining Alexia’s blog, ‘Alexia’s Chronicles‘ as an associate blogger. I will continue to do everything I did here, but will be relieved from micro-managing a blog. Also, Alexia’s Chronicles has just received a major makeover. To celebrate both these big events, I am sponsoring a huge giveaway there.

So, come one over, say hi to me there, and take part in the giveaway. I know all of you used to love my giveaways, and this one is the best one I’ve had, ever! 2 winners will get an ebook of their choice up to a value of $6.99!

Come see my new home, and enter the awesome Giveaway!

Please come on ever and support me in this new endeavor. And, remember to follow me there by email, to receive updates of all my posts. Oh, do leave a comment telling me you’ve come over from “Ritesh Kala’s Book Reviews”. I’ve gotten to know a many of you, but there are still a few of you I don’t know too well, and I intend to change that!

As I said before, all my reviews will be posted here as well, so this blog is definitely not shutting down.

This blog is now CLOSED!

Well, kind of.

This has been an amazing 6 months. I started the blog on 20th November, 2011, which coincidentally is also my birthday. I had no idea what I was getting into, or what I wanted to do with it. I was just thinking of writing down my thoughts about the books I was reading.

But, the community of bloggers, authors and readers I found, and who found me was simply amazing. I want to thank each one of you, for your support and love. You’re the reason, why I was able to keep up with this (besides the fact that I also had the time to do it).

But now, I have a new job which is taking increasing amounts of my time, and not leaving me with enough energy or enthusiasm to continue with this. And, I surely don’t want to be doing this half-heartedly. So, I am going to stop taking any and all review requests, and will have to stop (grudgingly) all other posts related to author promotions, interviews, guest posts and blog tours.

I will continue to read books of course, I can’t stop now that I have been bitten by the bug. I will also try and write reviews for the books I read, but again, these posts are going to now become erratic. I might be able to put up 2 or 3 reviews a week or may not put up any for a couple weeks. BUT, this may not be the end of the blog. If I feel that I am getting enough time to start work on the blog again, I will do so.

Finally, I just want to say THANK YOU, for taking this wonderful journey with me!

Interview with Jamie Salisbury, author of the Tudor Dynasty Series

I have with me today, author Jamie Salisbury, who writes romance novels. I know, not my usual genre, but I really like talking to authors outside the genres I read to understand the differences in genres, the differences in writing styles, and reasons why I should be interested in the books. So, without taking to much of your time, here it is!

Interview with Jamie Salisbury, author of the Tudor Dynasty Series

Describe your books? What genre would you classify it into?

Romance, historical and contemporary. Women’s fiction, chick-lit.

How do you come up with the idea for the books?

Usually, the idea just drops out of no-where.

When and why did you begin writing? What do you enjoy most about writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a child. I started getting serious in high school when I took a creative writing class. What I enjoy the most about my writing is taking something from a simple idea I had in my head and turning it an actual story.

Where do your stories come from, a dream, imagination, or something completely else?

There is no one place where they come from. One could be loosely based on true life, another may be totally fabricated.

How has your journey from writing to getting published been?

Satisfying. I had tried going the traditional route and got shot down. So I started researching doing the indie publishing/ebook route and that’s where I am. It’s a great fit.

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A World without Compromise by David Brown


A World without Compromise

by David Brown

I was seventeen and studying at college when I first came up with the idea of Elenchera. The previous year I had discovered the RPG series, Final Fantasy, on the Playstation and I found the games to be remarkable. They blended sci-fi elements into richly adorned fantasy worlds, they had compelling characters both good and bad, epic storylines and they offered a memorable visceral experience as well, though that was the least important factor to me. I didn’t realise at the time that these games would change my life.

Final Fantasy allows the user to summon gods to aid their characters in battle and it was from this array of deities that I first discovered Odin. I assumed most of the gods in the game were invented but some were familiar from religious education at school so I delved deeper. I found that not only was Odin an actual god, he was the principal deity of Norse  mythology, the faith embraced by the Vikings who launched relentless raids throughout Europe beginning in the late 8th century and only coming to an end around the 11th century. In that time the Vikings, led by Leif Ericsson, discovered America in 1100 AD, not Christopher Columbus as many may believe.

I began to read the mythology in-depth as well as branching out and reading the Sagas of the Icelanders, narratives from the descendants of Vikings, which told tales of their harsh lives and the many battles fought. Norse mythology is not colourful and romantic like the Greek stories or romance at court as you find in the Arthurian myths. The Norse tales are often gritty and the story of Ragnarok, where the world ends leads to a cataclysmic battle between good and evil where Odin is killed at the very start! I was drawn to Norse mythology because it had this uncompromising nature about it. Yes, there is great beauty amongst the gods, such as Freyja, but in essence this is a harsh world and I wanted that for my own work. It would mirror our own world which I don’t need to tell you is a difficult place to survive for far too many of us.

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