Saturday, August 16, 2014

Book Review: Tortured Souls by Kimberly Wheaton

Before I start this review, I'd like to say a few words: Oh. My. Gosh. I can't even, I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW, PLEASE. Ah, now that I have that out of the way, I can finally start my review without fangirling too hard.

Kimberly has created a fantastic story, with amazing characters, a compelling plot, and so much more. The plot was just right, and things didn't feel rushed or too slow. A thing that really annoys me is when the pacing in a story doesn't feel right and is choppy. Kimberly, you're doing it right. Another thing is that there are some parts that feel unnecessary, but fear not! Everything that happened was interesting and important, the circle itself, the investigations, everything. It's a win-win really, so basically, the plot was on point. 

The characters were phenomenal; they really made the story come alive. Kacie is a fantastic main character. She's very determined and knows what she wants to do and gets stuff done. Her backstory just made me cry and look up to her as a character. Throughout parts of the novel, she lets herself cry, because God forbid main characters from having emtotions, but she doesn't over do it. Logan is a wonderful character, he's supportive, nice, and let's not forget a complete gentleman. It's a nice break from your usual brooding, dark male lead. Let me get this out: We need more people like him! Guys are just really stupid, that's all I'm saying. I just really appreciated his character. Rebecca, Carl, and all of the other members of the circle helped the story come to life. They're funny, sarcastic, and honestly remind me of people I know in real life. I especially loved Daniel's nickname for Kacie, it's little things like that that really make the book special and entertaining. The relationship between Kacie and her family made my heart melt, which is something I rarely say. The protectiveness they show throughout the course of the novel was very heartwarming. I really liked the development between Kacie and her father. Even though he doesn't believe her at first, but slowly learns to accept her for who she is, along with her abilities. To me, this is something that should be touched upon more. Being in the same situation, but obviously not possessing supernatural abilities, I know how it feels like to be put down for the things I have, while my parents don't believe me, just because it's something they don't have cold, hard facts on. So thank you, Kimberly. 

I could say so much more about this book, but we'd be here all day. Plus, I think if consist mostly of fan girdling in all-caps. All in all, this book was very fun to read, making me cry, laugh, and squeal. Thank you, Kimberly for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book. Guys, please check it out, because it's totally worth reading. 


***im so sorry this is up so late, because school has been so busy, and I haven't had time to sit down and write my review. But better late than never.***

Friday, August 8, 2014

Interview with Kimber Leigh Wheaton, author of Tourtured Souls

Since I'm a part of the promotional tour for Tortured Souls, I got a chance to do an interview with the author, Kimberly Wheaton, and here it is!

Describe Tortured Souls in a few sentences.

Tortured Souls is the first book in The Orion Circle series which featured a group of teenage paranormal hunters. Think Scooby Doo meets Supernatural. Tortured Souls is about Kacie, the newest member of the Circle. She is a physical medium who is being stalked by the ghost of a serial killer.

Tell us about the main character in Tortured Souls.

Why did you decide to write in the paranormal genre?

I've had an interest in the paranormal since I was a child. I love all sorts of mythology and folktales. My bookshelves are filled with books on the paranormal that I've collected through the years. In The Orion Circle series I plan to really explore the supernatural world: ghosts, cryptozoology, werewolves, vampires—you name it. I just find the whole supernatural world fascinating.

What was the first paranormal book you remember reading?

I had several nonfiction books about ghosts that I absolutely loved. They’re long gone now, and I can’t remember the titles. They were both paperbacks, and I read them until they fell apart. The first book I read in the adult category was Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I was in fourth grade at the time, and yes, I did lose sleep because of that book. There are still scenes that stick out in my mind even after all these years. I became a huge Stephen King fan after that. I also found Dean Koontz and discovered I liked his work even more!

Are any of your characters inspired by people in your life, past or present?

No. All of these characters came straight from my imagination. I always tell my husband that he is the inspiration for all of my heroes and villains. But in Tortured Souls that simply isn’t the case. Fortunately my husband is nothing like the Foxblood Demon!

When can we expect the next book in The Orion Circle series?

I’m working on both books 2 and 3 right now. I started book 2 several weeks ago and realized about one-third of the way through that I had two distinct plot lines. These need to be explored in separate books, so I had to split them. I’m also working on book 1.5 which will be a collection of short stories. I hope to have one out around November 4th.

I hope you enjoyed this interview and are interested in picking up Kimberly's awesome book, and be sure to stay tuned for my review of Tortured Souls, which will be up soon.

-DFTBA, Lauren

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Interview with Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

I had the awesome chance to interview Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki, the authors of Branded. I know this is two months late, but better late than never, right?

What inspired you two to write Branded, and how long did it take? This is probably the most popular question people ask us. We have always talked about & shared books we enjoyed. We’ve also been close friends since 1999, so our friendship has already weathered a lot of changes. We used to meet to talk about books we were reading when we considered writing one of our own. Then one day, Abi came up with the concept of branding people with their sins & we took it from there. It was never really a choice to co-author… it was just something we did because it worked. We wrote our first draft in just three months!

Are there any meanings or specific reasons behind the names you chose for your characters? Honestly? They were just names we liked & thought fit our characters. Except for Zeus. His name was taken from Abi’s Rottweiler that had passed away a year or two before we wrote the book. As you can tell from the story, we’re both dog lovers!

Is there anyone who inspired or helped you two to write the book or had any affect on your writing? I think we inspire each other a lot, especially when one of us gets in a rut. The other person that really helped us along was our editor, Amy Eye. She pushed us to write better, to be consistent with our characters, and to dig deeper even when we were tired during the whole editing process.

Are any of the relationships between characters based off of any relationships you two have in real life? I think all of our characters could reflect people we’ve met along the way in life. Hopefully, that’s what makes them relatable. For me (Missy), Alyssa was a reflection of a girl I used to babysit, who passed away from cancer when she was only 10. She was full of hope & faith until the end.
And there’s Zeus, who is a reflection of our dogs. Abi & I both have two dogs each, and we love them. They’re so forgiving, trusting, and lovable.

How did you guys get the premise of the story, and was it hard to write about? Abi came up with the concept, and from there we built an entire society. Sadly, it wasn’t too hard to write because there are places in our world today where governments are unjust, people are murdered or displaced and left to fend for themselves.

How did the two of you meet and decide to write a novel together? We met at college orientation in 1999 and have stayed in touch since, regardless of the stage of life we were in. While I’ve always been a bookworm, Abi was inspired after reading Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. After that, we started meeting & discussing books we were reading. It was just natural to write one together.

Lastly, what advice would you give aspiring authors about writing or publishing a novel?
Advice to up and coming author- Stick with it. Believe in it. Find a good editor. Find reputable bloggers that will give you an honest opinion & believe in your book! Ask other authors for advice when you need it. The indie community is very supportive if you just ASK. It won’t be easy, and it’s definitely a long process, but it’s worth the effort when you can say you wrote a book!!!