Category: YA

REVIEW: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

Hands down the best dystopian book I have ever read.

I know this is saying a lot considering The Hunger Games, Divergent, Delirium, Halo, Blood Red Road, The Giver, etc, but it’s true. Elizabeth Fama has created the first believable dystopian I have read.

Soleil lives in a world where in many countries they have divided the population into Night and Day. Strict restrictions guard each of the factions with the Day people being favored over the Night people, the smudges. Soleil is sadly a smudge, only allowed outside after dark, to do the same things other people do during the day.

The system works because it’s something that could happen to our society. Not every country on the planet has been abolished, Japan doesn’t have the Day/Night system, and transfers from Night to Day take place depending on what your position in work and the government are.

It makes sense because there’s less traffic on the subway, more productivity in factories where before there might only be one person on the night shift, now there’s a full crew. It helped countries get out of the economic slump and begin to solve their debts.

Soleil is about as normal as they come, and I love how the elements of a poverty imprisoned youth collide with a seemingly privileged doctor, Day Boy for lack of a better term (he has a name but I can’t remember it) is exactly what you’d expect from an intern trying not to piss off the powers that be to get his sanctioned scholarships and set on a good path in life.

It’s amazing how realistic Elizabeth Fama has made Plus One that it’s sometimes hard to believe it’s dystopian. I’d have to call it dystopian contemporary because the elements in the book besides the romance between Sol and Day Boy is obvious, the medical procedures, kidnappings, and cancer are all things that make this book very contemporary.

Do yourself a favor and get this one when it comes out. Elizabeth Fama has succeeded in being just like Katie McGarry when creating her characters, and as creative and out of this world as Frankie Rose with her world building. You will not regret picking this one up.

Cheers,
Rhi

P.S. I got this book off NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

REVIEW: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We were liars was provided to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review, but truthfully, I picked this up on NetGalley because of a fantastic review by Emma Michaels.

We were liars is a deceptive tale of a girl who almost drowned, and is both trying to remember what happened before the accident and heal herself from the past.

She’s a girl who falls in love with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks and a girl who for lack of a better word doesn’t really feel like she fits into the family she’s part of.

She speaks a lot about the hush hush nature of her posh family who owns an island with four houses no less, and has a scrutinizing grand father and whose mother and aunts keep divorcing men who aren’t good enough for them.

The writing style is beautiful, with short, choppy sentences that simply display the details and none of the fluff that can sometimes bog down books. It’s very poignant and precise in its writing and I love that about it.

The mystery surrounding the girl’s accident and the way she pulls it all apart is quite flawless. It’s gruesome and terrifying come the end but it’s also one of those things you can’t forget in a book.

I can’t talk about it too much without giving out details but this is a drag you to the bottom of the ocean kind of book. I loved it when she realized the dogs had been involved and when she hugged Gat, he told her that wasn’t everything, that there was more to remember.

You have to read this one for yourself to understand the pure genius of this novel, so I’ll leave you to it. Besides, I was told that if anyone asked me about the ending, I would lie.

Cheers,
Rhi

REVIEW: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

O Hai,

Long time since I’ve reviewed a book, but it’s always that NetGalley policy thing chewing at me, reminding me that because Harlequin let me read Katie’s new book for free, I should probably say something about it on my blog.
And I’m lost for words. 
Katie has mad skills, a way with words, scenarios, and characters. Her characters leap off the pages and strangle you with their personalities. She can flip from messed up kid to jock to private school girl with disorder, you name it, she can peg that character 100% and let it breathe through the pages. 
Which is why I read her books. 
This one . . . well this one got me around 22% and from there on the emotional roller coaster of this read did not let go. I’m lucky that work today was a bit crap because otherwise I might find myself in trouble for reading while ahem, I should have been answering e-mails or ahem editing my book, oops. 
Katie’s books have a way of keeping me sane when I’m feeling like the world around me is chaos. I know it’s weird because her books are often full of chaos. She’s no stranger to social services or the system, and she understands a ton about the different familial situations people can end up in.
I have to say that I also respect her for her knowledge of drag racing, for experiencing it first hand and for emerging herself in that world completely. I think that any author that does intense research for a book is one that’s worth all the hours it took to read her book. Which were not much, I think I clocked out at about 5 hours, lol, not quite 6.94 seconds on an eighth strip, but I enjoyed the ride.
Looking forward to what Katie does with the next book . . . about West. 
Crash Into You hits November 26th and I suggest you loyal fans go get yourself a copy!
Cheers,
Rhi

Cover Reveal: Renegade by Cambria Hebert

Title: Renegade (Heven and Hell #4) (the final book in the series)
Series: Heven and Hell
Author: Cambria Hebert
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Release Date: May 3, 2013
Formats: Ebook and Print

I’ve been beautiful. I’ve been ugly. I’ve died. I’ve been brought back. I’ve had abilities awakened within me. My strength has been tested. My beliefs have been tested.

Yet I stand.

What’s next when you’ve pretty much experienced it all?

The end.

Sam and I are picking up the pieces. We’re trying to come to terms with all we’ve lost. And as much as I would like to hide my head, ignore the reality I live every day, there is no forgetting.

Riley is in hell—I’m still not sure of his agenda. My mother’s past haunts me. And Kimber…Kimber is being herself. Cole sneaks glances at Gemma and she returns them when she thinks I don’t see.

But I do.

When Beelzebub escapes he brings his war to places I never thought he would. Earth. Maine. Home. Now everyone and everything is at risk. This has become bigger than my circle of friends. This has become bigger than me. I have to finish this. I have to find a way to stop him, to finish this war.

I just pray we will all be left standing in the end.

About Cambria:
Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series and the Death Escorts series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting http://www.cambriahebert.com

“Like” her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cambria-Hebert/128278117253138
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Cambria website: http://www.cambriahebert.com
Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/CambriaHebert?feature=mhee

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

After reading Pushing The Limits I was hooked to Katie McGarry’s writing style. I read Pushing The Limits in two days, and while Dare You To took me a little longer it was definitely not because I wanted to. Things like work kept getting in the way and I kept having to put it down when I didn’t want to.

Dare You To happens after Pushing The Limits, but it’s not about Noah and Echo. This book is about Beth, and the horrible life she’s had to endure. This book is much stronger, more edgy, and resembles real life situations in a scary accurate way.

Without giving away the plot too much, Beth used to like getting drunk and high with Noah and Isaiah. She lived with both boys at her aunt’s house until something bad happens to her mom and custody of Beth goes to her Uncle Scott. Beth is forced to move from Louisville to Groveton where she used to go to elementary school. She doesn’t expect the kids to remember her, but they do. To make matters worse, there’s Ryan, all star baseball pitcher who keeps annoying her.

To be honest, I thought Isaiah and Beth were a better match, despite him being wrong for her. Ryan was good, but he was all american good, and too shiny. This isn’t really a book about a straight laced guy saving a girl whose fallen off the rails in her life. It’s actually the other way around. Beth ends up showing Ryan a different side to life that baseball and listening to his parents can’t give him. Beth pushes him to do things he’d never do. Yes, they dare each other to do things but that dare game started long ago between Ryan and his friends.

It’s so hard to explain in a review why this book is so good, but once you’re reading it you’ll understand. McGarry is effortless in her descriptions, dialogue, and plot. She paints her characters with such simple brushstrokes that while you can see what makes them stereotypical, you can also see where they bleed between the lines. Beth is no cookie cutter badass girl from the wrong side. At times she’s insecure, and skeptical. Ryan isn’t just great at baseball, he’s not your typical jock. Sometimes he’s got deep emotions.

It’s all of these things that make the words jump off the page and attack you. It makes it a very hard book to put down and one I constantly found myself going back to even when I was supposed to be doing other things.

Read this one, I dare you to.

Cheers
Rhi

P.S. I received this book off netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Emma Michaels interviews me while I interview her . . .

Hi folks!

It’s exactly what it sounds like. Emma and I got together on Skype and asked each other a bunch of questions, and the only stipulation was that we had to answer honestly! And none of the questions could be boring. Take a look at what we came up with!

Emma Michaels: The number one comment readers have about surrender is the uniquely original story line, what would you say inspired the more unique aspects of Surrender?

Rhiannon Paille: Mythology. I’m very driven by age old stories, and I fashioned SURRENDER after those old stories. The entire basis of The Ferryman + The Flame is the idea that this is a lost myth, something that our ancestors or elders tried to have erased. Anything that was banned, erased, burned, purged from the universe itself, has to be good right?

When you asked me to review Owlet, you made a valid point about asthma and flawed teenagers. What made you choose asthma specifically?

Emma Michaels: I have lifelong asthma and throughout school and the slow crawl towards adulthood it became a serious impediment, not as much because of the limits on me physically but because of the lack of understanding from those around me. P.E. teachers wouldn’t understand and would force me to run or threaten my grade and I knew what was going to happen but had to risk it anyways, So I would run and within 20 minutes be in the ER with the teacher apologizing for not having believed me because she saw me try my very hardest and the outcome. Then of course, new teacher the next year, same welcome to the class. It hurts having the limitations, but it hurts more feeling so alone and so unique in a way that feels more wrong than right so much of the time.

The Great Oak in Surrender has captivated readers, they want to know more about the great oaks tie in to the story and ability to choose a person’s life path. Will it affect future novels? Is there any fun behind the story info you might be willing to share?

Rhiannon Paille: The Great Oak is akin to mythology’s Tree of Life, which is rumored to exist in Avalon, which is what inspired me to create Avristar. In later books I mention how human culture has changed and I draw all the lines together between the first book and the last three books. Without going into a lot of spoilery details, the first three books exist around 7000BCE and the last three books exist around 2010CE. So, While the Great Oak plays a part in the first, fourth, and fifth books, it’s more of an archetype. For the first three books Kaliel and Krishani feel cursed by the tree, but the Great Oak is one of those impartial omnipotent creatures. Hahaha I’m sure Kaliel in the later books would compare the Great Oak to a Magic 8 Ball.

Iris can’t remember her life, but everyone around her seems to know who she is. Was the amnesia part of your original plan for Iris’s story?

Emma Michaels: Yes and no. I wrote the entire Society of Feathers series, then went back and decided to rewrite it including what I had learned. The amnesia was added when I went back and realized that certain things that happened in Iris past are not things any young girl’s mind would be able to properly cope with. It really came down to be it being more realistic for her to have chosen to have forgotten because of events revealed in book two, than for her to have been able to live with what happened without finding a way to face the truth.

There are so many stories and versions of what elves could be. Have elves always interested you? If not what sparked that interest?

Rhiannon Paille: I can see how Iris wouldn’t be able to accept some of the things that happened to her when she was a kid and then magically go back and be reintroduced to it without having amnesia. It was a good add to the revisions! Actually there are two types of elves. The ones you just mentioned at the short ones, that were mistaken for dwarves in some stories, and midgets in other stories. It gets really sticky when you begin to pull apart the myths out there. The Elvens (which are NOT elves btw) are often mistaken for the Frost Giants or the Fir Bolgs who were trying to take over Ireland before the Tuatha De Danann descended from the sky and drove them out of Ireland. My interest comes from culture, my own personal roots being that my ancestors were all from those regions. My ancestors were all Viking Warlords, Kings of Norway, Dublin, Kvenland, Sweden, etc. etc. They then migrated to Iceland, and later to Canada. Mythology from that region has always fascinated me, as it fascinated Tolkien. Me and him use the same Elvens. But I also added feorns (half wolf, half man, but not werewolves), centaurs (half man, half horse) shee (12inch faeries), fae (human sized faeries), gargoyles (stone during the day, bat-like at night), and humans.

We’re gonna write books here Emma with this interview! What originally sparked your interest for a Society of Bird-People?

Emma Michaels: It is a bit difficult to describe. I tend to look at everything around me and see something a different from what everyone else sees (or so I am told) so the smallest thing can change me entire perspective. In this case, I have always been fascinated by ornithology, especially since an illustrator of a text book was kind enough to give me a free signed copy knowing I liked it but couldn’t afford it. From that day on the book has always meant a great deal to me. When I was about 16 or 17 I had a dream about a girl flying and a part of an owl becoming a part of her. I have always had dreams about flying whenever the strong Santa Ana winds would come through my hometown Los Angeles. It really just grew from there, I started to see traits of birds in those around me.

Rhiannon Paille: It’s stuff like that that makes people think us writers are all insane you know 😉

Emma Michaels: I know. But in the words of Lewis Carrol, “We’re all mad here.” 😛 We really are going to write books here in this interview 😛 Surrender has been called “vibrant”, “epic”, “beautifully written fantasy”, “full of magic” and “extraordinary” how did it feel when you got your first review? How did your readers reactions to your novels effect your future choices when writing?

Rhiannon Paille: Hahaha AND she asks me loaded questions! Honestly? I was really happy with my first review because it was from a fellow indie author whose book I loved, and she called my book a Classic! And then I began getting other reviews from other bloggers and not all of them were as positive. Some of them didn’t like my book, some of them didn’t think I knew how to write (okay that might have been true) but the one thing I did want to avoid was having readers influence my future books. I’ve seen others do it, SM Reine is doing it right now with her Seasons of the Moon series, where she polls people on facebook about what should happen in the next installment. Cool idea, but it’s not for me. I had a full story arc for The Ferryman + The Flame in my head before I began and actually before SURRENDER originally dropped in 2011, I had the first drafts of JUSTICE and VULTURE already finished. I like being ahead of the game. It helps me let go of the people who tell me that despite doing six years of work, my book is crap. (you know who you are anonymous reviewer.)

I really liked Falcon, but everyone complains about insta-love between characters (I’m a guilty member of the insta-love club) What do you have to say for yourself?

Emma Michaels: Lol, very good question. You have no idea what you stumbled upon but I have been waiting for someone to ask this one! I am not a fan of following fads, the interesting thing that is going to happen throughout the series is that as you see their past unfurling you realize it wasn’t insta-love at all. In fact, it was quiet the opposite. The thing is. Iris is the person that taught Falcon what love was and his not forgetting that was what was able to reforge that connection. Iris trusts him but it was trust it took him years and years to earn, she just doesn’t know it yet and once she finds out we will see where the story goes from there. 😛 Fate seems to have a huge part in your novels. Do you personally believe in fate or having a path that is already chosen?

Rhiannon Paille: Yes and no . . . I believe in Destiny, not Fate. Destiny is a destination where as fate is a detour. The Great Oak is more like a personality test, like those fantastic career tests we all had to do on the antiquated computers at high school. The ones that spit out job matches based on our answers. There are a lot of other factors that make up what Kaliel and Krishani’s destiny is, and frankly I haven’t even revealed their destiny paths in the first book. I’m also going to add that humans have free will, while Elvens aren’t known for that. Elvens are known for their dedication to duty and responsibility, they are less likely to fall off a prescribed path. But then you have to look past Kaliel and Krishani being physically Elven and understand that Kaliel’s soul is a Flame and Krishani’s soul is a Ferryman. That trumps. It’s like Iris being a human but having a bird soul.

You have other creative influences, like video editing and sketching. How has that shaped you as a writer? Do you sometimes sketch out your ideas before writing them? (I can’t draw so I’m fascinated by people who can.)

Emma Michaels: Great answer! And yes, I tend to lean towards just about every and any creative outlet that has to do with visual stimuli. I actually drew Iris (previously named Serenity), Falcon (previously named Darien when I drew him) and then Jarem and Roger. It actually does really affect my writing when I draw a character or work on a digital design piece. The main reason being that I have a pretty terrible memory span and have a lot of reasons I need a creative outlet. When I do a piece of art or write about something I know for sure it is something I am emotionally invested and even if I don’t remember exact details of what I felt while making the piece I always remember the emotion when I look back at the image. It is like each line is a piece of the memory I can’t seem to reach and seeing the images brings it back together again.

Emma Michaels: What do you hope readers will take away from your novels? What is it you want to inspire them to feel?

Rhiannon Paille: *cue the evil laughter* Writing The Ferryman + The Flame was a bit like therapy. The nightmare lived inside my head for a long time before I managed to get it out onto paper. I wrote it in third person limited for the sheer fact that I don’t think I could have written it in first person (a bit too personal that way) so I did it to separate myself from the characters a bit, but I still wanted my readers to live inside the nightmare with me. Sure, this book begins in a utopian paradise, but all paradises have some fatal flaw, not to mention, my paradise is populated by one Flame (who could cause the apocalypse) and one Ferryman (whose job is to follow death) The Ferryman + The Flame is a disaster waiting to happen. I invite everyone to come experience the nightmare for themselves.

And my last question for you Emma (even though I can think of a million more) What do you like most about being a writer?

Emma Michaels: There is one thing that has drawn me to writing me entire life, even if I never thought of it as a career until recently, it is the feeling of writing, that pull towards it that takes you over and all you want to do is create. Every time I see a blank notebook it fills me with this send of impending creativity, like it is a book waiting anxiously for someone to allow its words to appear to it can finally be shared with the world. It is like a force I couldn’t hold back if I wanted to and when I let it take me over, it feels like complete freedom. As someone with such a confusing personal history and so many limitations in my life, there is a LOT I would give up for those moments of freedom. I want to get to keep having that feeling for the rest of my life when I sit down to write. :)

I want to thank Emma for her brilliant questions and for agreeing to do this interview! I think we had a lot of fun, and I hope you liked our candid answers!

Namaste,
Rhi

Review: Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin

Title: Ashen Winter
Author: Mike Mullin
ISBN: 1933718757
Publication: October 14th 2012 by Tanglewood Press
Received: Received on Netgalley
Links: Goodreads
Rating: 5 out of 5

Blurb: It’s been over six months since the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano.

My thoughts: A very realistic post apocalyptic tragedy. I love Alex and Darla’s relationship with each other. When Alex is at the brink of turning into a character I can’t identify with, Darla is there pulling him back to reality and making him the kind of hero everyone can love.

This kid has been through a lot. The super volcano basically destroyed the entire US, and because of the ash clouds there will be no summer, which means, no food, and with all the crazies out there, not zombies but your everyday humans gone insane, it’s even more dangerous for Alex and Darla.

I love the fact that Alex has parents he appreciates and worries about. I like that he’s not your usual hero either. He has some serious emotional reactions to the things that happen to him but even when things seem so bleak he can’t make it through there he is, fighting through it. If I were stuck in a post apocalyptic world, I’d want Alex on my team.

I also like the fact that Mullin made this very scientifically sound. This is what would happen next if Yellowstone blew up. He consulted professionals for feedback (because I read the acknowledgments folks) to make sure he had his fact straight. You can’t go wrong with an author that pays such close attention to detail.

If you haven’t read Ashfall yet, please do because that’s where it all begins, and it’s a fantastic read. I plan on picking up Ashen Winter when it hits shelves in October and you should too! Mike Mullin is a fantastic storyteller that has told a story nobody else ever thought of.

Thank you to Savannah of Books with Bite for hosting this awesome blog tour!

Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Title: The Lost Prince
Author: Julie Kagawa
Published: October 23rd 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Links: Goodreads
Received: Received from Netgalley
Rating: 5 of 5

Mt thoughts: Where do I start with this book? Back when I read The Immortal Rules, and found the first chapter of The Lost Prince at the end I was lost in anticipation. I wanted the rest of the book right then and there but had to wait. Then it showed up on netgalley and I was like: gimme, gimme, gimme!

This part of the story weaves together more missing pieces of the puzzle and begins an entirely new thread to the story that was previously explored in The Iron Knight When Ash traveled to the end of the world to get his soul, he encountered the Forgotten. In The Lost Prince Ethan is the only human up against the Forgotten in their quest to drain the glamour and magic from the Fey.

By some accident Ethan brings a stubborn reporter named MacKenzie who is a cross between Lois Lane and Kenzi off Lost Girl. I’m sure the name bit was just a coincidence, but hell it threw me off. There will always only be one Kenzi in my books and her real name is Ksenia Solo. She’s also the ONLY human in a world of Fey, so again, the striking similarity to Kagawa’s Kenzi is a throw off and a half.

The other interesting thing is Kierran. Again, Kagawa doesn’t tell us how old this kid is in the beginning and if you’ve read Iron’s Prophecy You’ll know that Kierran is Ash and Megan’s son. Thing is, about ten chapters after we’ve met him we find out he’s 17 like Ethan and he’s just aged differently because of the time difference in Faery. Hell, Megan and Ash still look 17 and somehow despite Ash being human he’s still got his glamour and faery magic. I feel like I’ll let that slide in favor of my next rant.

Lo and behold, I cannot be the first author to do anything anymore. Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, these books are riddled with vampires, werewolves, faeries, shifters, and everything else that goes bump in the night. I’ve staked my claim with the Flames and will probably be ready to pummel anyone else who writes about them (ahe, plagiarism anyone?) but cancer. Why cancer? That was my thing, the whole, I’m going to take an epic fantasy and turn it to a contemporary fantasy and deal with an issue like cancer.

Julie beat me to it. I won’t tell you who has cancer, or what exactly happens and I will say that if you give two artists the same topic and say go, they’ll paint two very different pictures. Same thing with authors. While Julie had the cancer idea and ultimately put it in her book, I’ve had the same idea in my head for years and I crafted a very different book.

And now for the good things. Lots more fights going on, there’s also two romances brewing. For a second I thought we were going to get the dreaded love triangle with Ethan, Kenzie and Keirran, this poor human girl torn between the human boy who can see the Faeries, and the Iron Prince, but then Annwyl, a girl from the summer court appeared and Kierran was enamored by her the moment she stepped onto the page and I was thus satisfied. Thank god no love triangles.

Last but not least, thanks for a quick and amazing read. I’ve never mentioned it before but after reading The Iron King I started a file on my phone called “Words to Remember” Kagawa has contributed a great deal to that list through her talented writing.

I can’t wait for the next book in the Iron Fey series!

Namaste,
Rhi

Review: Lost Prophecy by Julie Kagawa

Title: Iron’s Prophecy
Author: Julie Kagawa
Published: September 1st, 2012 by Harlequinteen
Links: Goodreads
Received: Bought on Kindle
Rating: 5 of 5

About: Meghan Chase is finally getting used to being the Iron Queen, ruler of the Iron Fey. Her life may be strange, but with former Winter prince Ash by her side at last, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

My thoughts: I didn’t know how I’d like Ash and Megan as adults but I like them very much. This isn’t like Kagawa’s shorts, this one is actually quite long and took me a couple of sittings to finish it.

This part of the story follows Ash and Megan to their first Elysium at Tir Na Nog. Yep, Ash is facing Mab and Megan is facing Oberon. Nothing goes as planned and a plot for the next three books is revealed in a big way.

Having recently finished The Lost Prince by Kagawa, I was very happy I read Iron’s Prophecy. It filled in a blank in my head and so through Ethan’s story I kept thinking about the prophecy. I think it was a very good lead up and tied the two series together beautifully.

My only nitpick is not knowing how much time had passed since the end of The Iron Knight Sure, Megan is pregnant and it’s her first Elysium so I can assume it’s a year, but in Faery time moves differently so I would have appreciated a road sign somewhere.

Either way, Kagawa stuns us with her lyrical prose and I love reading everything she puts out there. Look for my review of The Lost Prince soon! Also, on a personal author note, Kagawa had shown me how to add another three books to my own The Ferryman and the Flame series. I think I might be still writing parts of this story twenty years from now if I don’t watch it.

Namaste, Rhi

Sexy deleted scenes and a trace of betrayal

I’ve been thinking a lot in the past few weeks about my place in the book world. I’m struggling to fit in, like I usually do in just about every circle I’m part of. I’m not a niche market, or a number, I’m just someone who wrote a book, and thought it was good enough to let other people read it.

Sadly, the people I’d really like to work with don’t seem to get on board with me. I have no idea why I’ve been passed up by just about everyone in publishing, but that’s where I stand. I’ve got books out there, and it’s the non fiction that does well.

I’m not a glory hound. A couple months ago I realized that all I ever wanted to do was write a book. I didn’t care if it got published or became a bestseller. Those were ideas that were shoved into my head by the well wishers who have since betrayed me or turn away from me. I feel heart broken that I let the book I worked on for six years, get sullied the way it did. I regret the previous direction I went in, chasing some silly dream of being the next Julie Kagawa or Cassandra Clare. I regret working with people I knew weren’t going to stick around unless they saw my book become the next best thing since Harry Potter. I regret putting my all into something for someone else.

I don’t regret writing the book.

The relaunch is something I felt I had to do because of the fall out, and in hindsight, it’s a good thing. I’ve been able to take the manuscript through another excruciating round of edits, and I’ve added a couple of scenes I deleted the first time around. Both of them because I thought they were too steamy for YA. For the parents who read this blog, do not let your nine year olds read my books please. I’ve been asked countless times if kids under ten can read my books and the answer is no. Twelve and up, or fourteen and up even would be great.

In one of my conversations with my editor he asked me about the romance between Kaliel and Krishani and specifically where my inspiration came from for that. Obviously they are the focal point of the whole series, so evidently all my inspiration revolves around their relationship. And in my head, there was a lot more sex. I told my editor that if I had written it the way the story was fed to me (through my guides) it would have been rated X and classed erotica.

For the sake of the story I veered away from the sex. There’s too many erotic stories out there that gear directly for the sex and have no story line. They don’t take other life situations into play. I wanted my story to be more about the tragic love story than about the hot steamy romance.

But the relaunch . . . gives you both. Hot steamy romance, and tragic love story. It’s aimed at older teens who have been in similar situations. We have to face a fact that over fifty percent of today’s teen population is having sex. Keeping it censored from a book isn’t going to stop them from experimenting. In not holding back, I’ve managed to give the readers more of the truth. Kaliel and Krishani had a serious relationship. They weren’t “hooking up”, but they were definitely doing more than sleeping in that cave.

And if you’re lucky, I’ll post those scenes right here on the blog.

Namaste,
Rhi