INTERVIEW WITH MEGAN LINSKI




Today we’re featuring Megan Linski, author of the Kingdom Saga, as she talks about the various motivations behind her characters in her newest novel, Prince of Fire, which you can find here: http://goo.gl/7mIt1b

Summary:
Thief lord. Wanted criminal. College student.

Zayde Amirmoez is in his last year of college at Ashana University, and he couldn’t be more eager to leave. A talented thief, Zayde makes a living by robbing jewelry stores in order to care for his ailing mother, who grows sicker each passing day.

Then the dreams begin. Zayde’s nightmares echo memories of a land from another time, visions of a mysterious princess who lived two thousand years ago. At the insistence of his annoying history professor, Zayde becomes friends with the beautiful freshman who loves to dance…the girl who looks exactly like the princess in his dreams.

As a dangerous new Dean and his spiteful son take the helm at Ashana University, Zayde learns of the legends of Queen Bennua, which are eerily similar to his nightmares. Could Zayde’s dreams be a coincidence? Or is it possible that Bennua and Zahid have returned, to save Sahrahn once more?

How did it compare when writing Zayde’s voice as opposed to Bashira’s?

It was very different writing Zayde’s (Zahid’s reincarnation) rather than Bashira’s this time around (Bennua’s reincarnation). Bashira likes to think on things and use all these complicated words, and ponders each situation before she goes into it. Zayde gets straight to the point and doesn’t like describing anything or being fancy in any way. Even when something bad is going on, he’ll try to make the situation humorous, or shrug it off instead of taking it head-on like Bashira. Bashira also likes talking about her emotions a lot, while Zayde doesn’t reveal anything about how he feels, even to himself. Everything’s very cut and dry with him. He’ll tell you enough to move the story along and make it interesting, but you have to read between the lines with him because he has to conceal everything. He likes living in the shadows and being quiet, and that’s just how he is.

What are some of the main differences between Zahid/Zayde and Bennua/Bashira, and how are they going to be covered in Prince of Fire?

Bashira tends to be worried about everything, and Zayde takes everything in stride. As he sees it, bad things will happen when they happen, and he’ll deal with chaos when it comes, but not a second before. He doesn’t tend to get as riled up as she does. The world could be ending for Bashira, but for Zayde, it’s just another day. Something that did surprise me, though, was the dark side in him. It’s a lot bigger than I thought it was, and he hides it well, but sometimes his sadness and despair peeks out at the most surprising at times. It was a blast playing inside his head, because he’s so honest with you as a character. In the previous Kingdom novels, Bennua took so much more work because I had to cut through the layers and layers of her in order to discover who she really was. It took multiple drafts of Kingdom From Ashes to get her to open up, whereas Zayde in Prince of Fire was like, “Here it is, and this is as good as it’s gonna get, so you can take it or leave it.”

Who do you believe is your most complex character within the Kingdom Saga?

I believe, more so than any of my other characters, that Bennua is more misunderstood than all the rest. I can agree with readers when they write me and tell me Alora (from the novel of the same name) is too prideful, too arrogant, when they say Kiatana (from Kiatana’s Journey) is aggressive and bratty, because that is who they are and who I made them to be. Bennua, however, is vastly more complicated than either of these two. There is always a hidden meaning behind her actions that few see or understand. Even she has trouble comprehending her decisions at times. Bennua has been referred to as brave, sacrificial, a true leader and hero, but has also been called selfish, eco-centric, and immature by the same readers who adore her. There are reasons why Bennua does the things she is apt to, and none of them come from a feeling of selfishness. Rather, her entire focal point as a character is centered around other people, much like Zahid. She makes decisions not on how they’ll affect her, but everyone else.

So do you believe Bennua obtains undeserved criticism from readers?

I wouldn’t say undeserved, as she does make irrational choices. Many readers forget Bennua has had no easy journey; she has lost multiple friends and members of her family along the way to bring peace to Sahrahn, as well as has been subjected to some of the worst experiences mankind has to offer at the ages of seventeen, eighteen, and twenty-one. Not to mention she’s felt the repercussions of a repressive society and a judgmental (and sometimes abusive) family during her childhood. The mistakes she made, and continues to make, come from a place of fear within her. Her worst fear, ultimately, is to be abandoned, and so she will do what it takes to work around that fear and keep the people in her life safe and happy, even if it means making herself miserable. This fear leads her to quick and misplaced decisions that wreak more havoc than she realizes. She longs to help too much, in an effort to be loved, and so it leads to chaos.

What about Zahid?

Readers are more willing to let Zahid’s flaws go because he conceals them, and so, we hardly ever see them. His true feelings and desires are rarely revealed to anyone, even Bennua, so it is easy to understand the things he does. It can be hard to sympathize with Bennua at points, but what readers must understand is that she’s willing to share her true thoughts. Zahid’s not. Many readers haven’t yet noticed that Zahid can be rather distant in his relationship with Bennua, which I cover more in Prince of Fire. Zahid’s biggest issue is that he shuts others out, and has a tendency to continue on regardless of the problem at hand. You could have a knife to his throat, and he still won’t talk about how he really feels. In Prince of Fire, readers are going to see that Zahid does have a darker side to him, a flawed side, that Bennua loves just as much as all the other parts. His darkness makes him the man readers fell for.

Faith is a huge theme in The Kingdom Saga. Was this influenced by any personal beliefs of yours?


I’ll always tell people that if you want to know what my beliefs are about a higher power, go read the Kingdom Saga. My faith parallels Bennua’s, while my doubt rivals Zahid’s. Only together do they make up what makes my faith, my faith. In recent years, I’d say one can’t get by without the other, even though I’ve spent plenty of time in both camps. The entire series has been an evaluation from where I started with “Alshams” until now. It’s definitely not always pretty, and the answers are few and far between, but regardless of whatever happens that higher power is always a central part of my life. Even if I try to escape it, that faith seems to tie my story together, just like it ties together the story of Bennua and Zahid.

Stay tuned for the Prince Of Fire review coming soon!

FORESTIUM EBOOK GIVEAWAY (INTL)






Joshua’s life is on the line, as he attempts to navigate through the magical world of Forestium to find the truth about his father. He and his companions will need to use all their cunning to stay alive and avoid the dark forces of the Goat. Will he find the magical orbs and open the Portallas, a magical gateway to other worlds, before he’s killed?

Joshua sets out to learn the truth about his father. Along the way, he finds friends, enemies, adventure, romance and himself.









GET TO KNOW THE AUTHOR!

What do you do for a living?        
Hmmm. Well, the way I make money is in IT. I manage an IT department for a hosting company. I've been in IT for the past *cough* 30 years or so (has it really been that long already?!).

What else do you get up to?       
Well, probably the one thing that takes up most of my time is the volunteer work I do in the community. I'm very involved with a local community group here in our suburb in Victoria (located about 40k from Melbourne in the South East suburbs). I also serve on the odd committee here and there and from time to time.

Do you spend a lot of your time writing?               
Over the past year, I've devoted quite a bit of time to my PORTALLAS series of novels, which I have been thoroughly enjoying.

Have you travelled?        
Oh yes, extensively. I've lived and worked in England twice (which is where I grew up), The Netherlands, The United States and now Australia. Back in 2002, my wife and I sold our house in Jacksonville, Florida, and we spent about 18 months (over the course of about two and a half years) backpacking around the world - unemployed, homeless, transient bums, as I used to call us at the time. I think the current tally is 40 countries and 13 states in America. Still plenty of the world left to see yet, though.

Family? 
Yes, I've been married for nearly 30 years and have 2 wonderful children in primary school. I also have a large, extended family.

Interests?           
Writing, education (I run a small education supplies company called Bounce Learning Kids), mathematics, civics and computers.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?      
Hmmm. That's a good question. Retired might be nice.

TV & movie likes and dislikes?   
  I enjoy pretty much anything to do with Star Trek and have spent endless hours watching all the TNG, DS9 & Voyager series (we don't talk about the Enterprise series. Shhh! Let's pretend those don't exist). I'm also a big fan of Star Wars and generally enjoy anything relating to cosmology, science, mathematics or natural history.


Who are your heroes?   
Wow! There are so many to choose from but I would go with the great names in science, such as Newton, Einstein, Hawking, Bohr, Mendeleev, Galileo, Euler, Euclid, Darwin, Kepler, Copernicus, Heisenberg, Feynman, etc.

Do you have pets?          
Yes, I have 2 cats, a guinea pig and an aquarium full of fish. I don't count the flies, mosquitoes or spiders.

Where did you grow up?               
England, but I'd lived in several countries and am currently living in Australia.

What's your favourite book?      
Hmmm. That's tough. I really enjoyed Spycatcher, by Peter Wright.
Who is your favourite author and why? Another good one. I really admire JK Rowling and the inspiration she provided to so many children to pick up a book and read.

Find out more about his inspiration and writing on his blog!

This giveaway is open internationally and the winner will be chosen on the 10th! I will be giving your email deirectly to the author and he will send the ebook! Please don't cheat, i will be checking the entries and if you do win, posting a review of the book once you're done would be a great help! Make sure you put the correct email address and good luck to all! MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR ;)


SIREN'S SONG BLOG TOUR


Siren's Song (The Storm Siren Trilogy #3)
by Mary Weber
Publisher: Thomas Nelson / HarperCollins
Release Date: March 1st 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Fiction, Paranormal
                                         Rate:  



Synopsis:

Nym and Draewulf prepare to face off in a battle destined to destroy more lives than it saves.

With the loss of Tulla still fresh in mind, Rasha’s fate unknown, and Lord Myles taken over by the dark ability, Nym and the few Bron soldiers rush to warn Cashlin’s queen. Only to discover it may already be too late for the monarch and her eerie kingdom. As the Luminescents are sifting through Nym’s past memories and the queen is reading into her future, Nym is given a choice of how to defeat Draewulf, but the cost may be more than she can bear. And even then there are no guarantees.

With that reality burrowing into her bones—along with the guilt of the lives she will sacrifice—Nym returns to her homeland of Faelen to raise an army of peasants through promises of freedom. But when the few friends she has left, along with the world and citizens she loves, are staring down the face of a monster and his undead army, will Nym summon every element her blood is capable of controlling . . . or surrender to a different strength—one of sacrifice?

Because in the end, death may be more merciful for them all.


After the war breaking out at Tulla, Nym and Eogn seek refuge in Cashlin, home of Princess Rasha who is still in Tulla and captured by Draewulf. However, the help they receive comes in the forms of premonitions and the effects each choice they make will have not only on them, but on the whole world. Being an Elemental, Nym is the objective of Draewulf and knows that whatever she does will out everyone she loves in danger. She knows it will always come down to a war but with feuds between the lower class and the upper class, how will she reunite the nations against Draewulf? And then there's Eogan who's keeping secrets and is no longer acting normal! 

Ever since i got the opportunity to review both books for the blog tour of the second book, i have been obsessed with this series! It honestly has everything i look for in a YA fantasy novel and more! That being said, i cannot believe this trilogy has come to an end!

And as soon as the book starts, you get hit by action and the awesome background of an Airship! The settings in the book was very well described and we got to visit Cashlin and Faelen! I had this git-wrenching feel throughout the bok because i just didn't know what was going to happen, who was gonna die, who wasn't. I was just expecting everything and nothing at the same time..there were some surprises and the ending was bittersweet end to the amazing trilogy.

Nym has grown into a full out warrior queen. She isn't fearless and admits it but manages to direct  her people and inspire others to fight for what's right. I can't believe how much i missed my Eogan-Nym moments-they were definitely not lacking in this book and just heightened the stakes so much more!

AND MYLES!! Yeah loads of people hated him in Book 1 and then book 2 he developed into not a good character but a complex and intriguing character-he was honestly my favorite! I was so happy to see him again with all his little quirks and his hissing! Then there's King Sedric, he really kept me intrigued and i still am quite curious about him. I really liked that the author didn't try to impose a love triangle between Nym, Eogan and Sedric, it honestly would have been too much! They are just really really good friends (AHEM I'M TALKING TO YOU CELAENA SARDOTHIEN AND ROWAN)

To conclude, the tears, the joy, the TORTUROUS cliffhangers all boiled down to that Epic ending! Litches (As Nym would say)! I am really going to miss this wonderful world and those amazing characters! I cannot wait to find out what the author writes next! I AM BEGGING FOR A MYLES OR SEDRIC NOVELLA. HONESTLY I NEED A NOVELLA FOR THESE TWO.







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Follow the Siren's Song by Mary Weber Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.



Mary Weber is a ridiculously uncoordinated girl plotting to take over make-believe worlds through books, handstands, and imaginary throwing knives. In her spare time, she feeds unicorns, sings 80’s hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California, which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands, Joss Whedon, and the ocean. Her debut YA fantasy novel, STORM SIREN and SIREN'S FURY are available now in bookstores and online, and SIREN'S SONG will be out March 2016 from TN HarperCollins.

THE LETTING BOOK BLITZ

The Letting
Release Date: 12/15/14
335 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
What if the Devil doesn’t know he’s the Devil?

This is the question Veronica “Ronnie” Billings poses to Phoenix, her sworn enemy, the leader of the Peaceful Revolution, and the one she loves.

Kidnapped by Phoenix’s rebels, Ronnie learns how wrong she has been. She had no idea that her patriotism was wasted on a corrupt government. Ronnie was proud to be a Leader; taking hundreds of harvested girls to the Letting facility. After all, she was saving them from future Couplings and bringing them to the safety of the New World. Or so she thought…

Confused, Ronnie realizes the only way to discover the truth is to trust her heart. Together, Phoenix and Ronnie devise a plan to stop their corrupt government and preempt the dangerous rebel coup which is approaching. But when their plan goes awry, will Ronnie be strong enough to save Phoenix, her country, and herself?


THE LETTING IS ON SALE FOR ONLY $.99 March 11-25!





EXCERPT:
"What if the Devil doesn't know he's the Devil?" I ask.
 Phoenix shakes his head, confused. "What?"
 "Why? Why does the bad I've done have to define me?"
 "Because you're a murdering sadist," he snaps back at me.
 "No, I am not." I clench my teeth, standing my ground. I am tired of these labels I am suddenly wearing. "I never, I mean never knew what happened to those girls I led to the Lettings. I am so very sorry I played any role in this vile enterprise in which we exist, but I was clueless. Maybe I'm ignorant, or downright stupid, but I would rather have been dead than be responsible for hurting anyone. And before you go throwing malicious names around, maybe it's time you consider maybe you're wrong...? What if you kidnapped and tortured me in the name of a revolution that is wrong?"
 "It's not," he argues.
 "But I didn't think I was wrong, either." I am exasperated. "Don't you get it?"
 He takes a step back away from me, but I go on.
 "We are completely turned around. The only information we're fed is from a corrupt enterprise. What makes you think your information is any more accurate than mine?"
 For the first time ever, he looks terrified. I let a moment go by before I gesture for Raven to come over, and she hurries to my side.

 "This is Raven," I say, slowly, talking to Phoenix. "She's your sister."


About the Author
Given my love for cities and all that is gritty, my new obsession with trees really has me stumped. (Sorry.) Maybe it's because trees are the inspiration behind my new YA/NA novel, THE LETTING.

Whatever the reason for my new infatuation, some things remain constant -- like my love for: coffee (although sadly, it's now decaf); yoga; Luna bars (I am petitioning for them to bring back Chocolate Raspberry!); running in my neighborhood; Hemingway; Bukowski... and, above all, my husband and my girls.

I am the author of the bestselling novel, Sleeping With Mortals: The Story of a New York Mistress, and I'm also a playwright. I have my B.A. in English and my M.A. in Theatre. 


Author Links:
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Book Blitz Organized by:

THE WINTER QUEEN TOUR+GIVEAWAY



Winter Queen
by Amber Argyle
Release Date: June 19th 2013

Summary from Goodreads:


~Becoming a winter queen will make Ilyenna as cold and cruel and deadly as winter itself, but it might be the only way to save her people from a war they have no hope of winning.~

Mortally wounded during a raid, seventeen-year-old Ilyenna is healed by winter fairies who present her with a seductive offer: become one of them and share their power over winter. But that power comes with a price. If she accepts, she will become a force of nature, lose her humanity, and abandon her family.

Unwilling to pay such a high price, Ilyenna is enslaved by one of the invaders, Darrien. While in captivity, she learns the attack wasn’t just a simple raid but part of a larger plot to overthrow her entire nation. 

With the enemy stealing over the mountains and Darrien coming to take her to his bed, Ilyenna must decide whether to resurrect the power the fairies left behind. Doing so will allow her to defeat Darrien and the other invaders, but if she embraces winter, she will lose herself to that destroying power—forever. 

Buy Links:
To receive Amber Argyle’s starter library for free (4 books!), simply tell her where to send it: http://eepurl.com/l8fl1

About the Author
Amber Argyle is the number-one bestselling author of the Witch Song Series and the Fairy Queen Series. Her books have been nominated for and won awards in addition to being translated into French and Indonesian.

Amber graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in English and physical education, a husband, and a two-year old. Since then, she and her husband have added two more children, which they are actively trying to transform from crazy small people into less crazy larger people.

Author Links:



Ilyenna loves her clan Shyle, and as a high lady she is skilled in medicine and is ready to supervise her clan whenever the man are absent. One day whilst in the woods, they discover a dead solider form the neighboring clan of Argon, that was attacked by the Tyrans. The peace between the clans had been long lasting so for someone to break that piece treaty, something serious must have happened. Her father and brother leave with all the men in the clan to find out what's going on, leaving Ilyenna in charge of the woman and the children. But what they don't expect is that the Tyran clan will attack their clan filled with women and children. Ilyenna almost dies and is faced with a harsh decision, embrace winter and become queen or regain her life as a mortal. As she is captured by the Tyran clan and forced into the servitude of it's cruel heir, Darrien, Ilyenna tries to hide her blossoming romance with her childhood friend all while trying to save her people that have also been captured.

Ilyenna was a nice enough protagonist. I didn't specifically like her but i definitely did not hate her. She was a compassionate soul with a  need to protect her clan despite the fact that she wasn't a man, her people respected her and loved her as much as family did. When she was captured, she was mistreated and beaten almost to death and she kept bringing onto herself so as to save her clan woman. She showed a tremendous amount of courage and that made it impossible not to like her!

For the romance part of the book i was a little disappointed, At first i thought Darrien would be love interest cause captor-captive romance..but now he just turned out to be an evil piece of Poop. Instead she falls for Rone who happens to be the heir of the Argon clan and also held captive with her. He was an incredibly sweet guy who risked his life just to bring her a blanket or a piece of bread so she wouldn't starve! The romance was sweet but not overwhelming like i usually like it...

The other thing that was a bit lacking for me was the supernatural winter queen . It was there but not enough to enforce the book's title. But i never got bored while reading it, it was fast paced, intriguing and gut clenching! The plot was unique and the writing had a very "folklore" vibe to it..love it!

Definitely give this a try! Hope you guys like the Winter Fairy pics and the giveaway! Enjoy!

                                                                                                  






GIVEAWAY: a Rafflecopter giveaway