Friday, December 23, 2011

Gifts for the holiday

Give a kid a book for the holidays and unleash their imagination. My book, MARIGOLD, is available on Kindle or Nook for only $.99. The printed version of the book is even better with a map inside!

Review of VANISH by Sophie Jordan

In this sequel to FIRELIGHT, Sophie Jordan takes us again into the world of the Draki in VANISH. Jacinda must leave her forbidden love, Will, to protect the pride, but leaving Will is not so easy. When he shows up at the pride pretending to be a lost hunter, she decides to see him again in a week. But, plans go awry and another Draki is kidnapped, so Jacinda returns to the pride facing punishment and humiliation. The conclusion is surprising and leaves the ending open to another book. There are so many wonderful characters in this series that the author could have many spin-offs to the central tale. 4 Elves - Highly Recommended

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I love Cinda Williams Chima's epic fantasies. Her trilogy of novels, Warrior, Wizard & Dragon Heir books, were so fascinating and fresh. Then I started reading her Seven Realms series - THE DEMON KING & THE EXILED QUEEN - and couldn't wait for her next book: THE GRAY WOLF THRONE. Although this book seems to finish the series, there is an ending and an epilogue that hints of more books to come, and I will be glad to dive into another book in the Seven Realms. These books are so creative, with warriors, clan members and wizards, and the royal politics are fraught with danger and suspicion. Her main characters, Han and Raisa, are complex yet sympathetic, and many of her other characters are similarly complicated and endearing. 4 Elves - Highly Recommended

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review of CROSSED by Ally Condie

I just finished CROSSED by Ally Condie, sequel to MATCHED, and although I was looking forward to this sequel, I didn't love it. Maybe part of the problem was the setting in the canyons; I missed the atmosphere of the Society, even though it was oppressive. The canyons had a sameness to them in spite of the wildness of the frontier. Also, there was a lack of action and tension in this book. On the plus side, some new intriguing characters were introduced (but many are killed off rather quickly). The relationship between Cassia, Ky and Xander is still evolving, and the ending strongly hints at another book. Worth reading, but disappointing - 2 Elves

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

USA "Best Books 2011" award

Very exciting: my book, MARIGOLD: Book One of the Elven Chronicles, is an award-winning finalist in the Children's Fiction category of the USA "Best Books 2011" awards, sponsored by USA Book News.

Review of the TRYLLE Trilogy

The TRYLLE trilogy (SWITCHED, TORN, ASCEND) by Amanda Hocking is only available as eBooks at this time, but due to the series' success, they will be published in book form in the near future.

Wendy is a high school girl who never quite fit in. When she is nearly kidnapped, she discovers that she was swapped by Trylles, or Trolls, to live as a human in place of a baby that they took back to their secret kingdom. Her human mother never believed that she was the right child, and her Trylle mother is cold & distant. When Wendy is forced to live in the Trylle kingdom, she finds out that she is a Trylle princess, destined to be the queen. Adapting to this strange life is difficult, but eventually she finds her powers and a new strength. Recommended - 3 Elves


This is a very compelling book of fantasy - a coming-of-age story set in the world of magic. While the "Harry Potter" series got pretty dark by the last few books, THE MAGICIANS by Lev Grossman is grim but also more adult. A high school boy is obsessed with a series of fantasy novels set in a land similar to "Narnia", but called Fillory. His journey to Fillory takes him to a school of magic, but the skills learned at this school don't make him happy. When he finally arrives in Fillory, a dangerous secret threatens his friends and the fantasies of his childhood. HIghly recommended - 4 Elves

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


In a grim militaristic society, any child that shows a spark of creativity is labeled an Unwanted and is taken away to be put to death.

Called "The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter" by Kirkus Reviews, author Lisa McMann (The WAKE series) writes her first middle-grade fantasy, and it is a winner.

Separated from his twin during the purge, Alex (an Unwanted) discovers an enchanted land where creativity equals magic. This hidden land must eventually go to battle with the military of his former world, and both worlds must change to survive.
4 Elves - highly recommended

Friday, September 16, 2011

Reviews: Divergent & Secret Zoo

DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth
Beatrice lives in a society divided into factions. One day a year, all sixteen-year-olds must choose a faction and stay in that faction for the rest of their lives.
But Beatrice doesn't feel she belongs in the faction of her family and when she selects another, she must leave them behind. During a brutal initiation, she is drawn to a leader and together they uncover a plot that threatens all of the factions and their whole world. This is the first of a series of dystopian thrillers. 4 Elves-highly recommended.

THE SECRET ZOO by Bryan Chick
When you were a kid visiting the zoo, did you ever fantasize about being with the animals on the other side of the glass? This middle-grade fantasy takes you not only to the other side of the glass, but to a secret world hidden inside the zoo. When Noah's sister, Megan, disappears and animals leave cryptic notes, he and his friends, Ella & Richie, set off in the middle of the night to find Megan. With help from a polar bear, penguins and a rhino, these friends set off on a wild and dangerous adventure. 3 Elves - Recommended

Monday, August 22, 2011

The MAZE RUNNER review

Finally got around to reading THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner and enjoyed it more than I expected. The bulk of the action takes place in an enclosed space called the Glade, which is surrounded by the Maze. Our hero, Thomas, wakes up in the lift and is deposited in the Glade. Filled with boys, Thomas must learn how to survive and yearns to explore the Maze. Things get really interesting when the first girl arrives in the Glade, as she seems to be the key to escaping the Maze so they can all go home. The ending leaves you wishing for a sequel. 3 Elves - Recommended

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Reviews-The Warlock&Curse of Deadman's Forest

THE WARLOCK: This is the fifth book in the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel and like the others before, is a roller-coaster ride with action galore. The author, Michael Scott, is an authority on mythology and folklore, and his books are full of characters like Isis, Osiris, Scathach, Palamedes, Joan of Arc, Machiavelli and Shakespeare - even Billy the Kid is along for the ride. This is a fun read, and as usual, the ending has you anxiously awaiting a sequel as the heroes are running out of time.

THE CURSE OF DEADMAN'S FOREST by Victoria Laurie: This is the second book in the Oracles of Delphi Keep series and like the first book in the series, brings back Ian Wigby and his sister Theodosia. Their adventures started when they explored the tunnels beneath the White Cliffs of Dover and soon they were traveling far beyond the orphanage in England. In this sequel, they travel to Spain and a cursed forest in Germany through a magic portal, seeking other Oracles to defeat a growing evil. There are three Oracles now, and the children need to gather three more to be successful,so the adventures will continue.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Book Review of SPELLS by Aprilynne Pike

I just finished SPELLS by Aprilynne Pike, the sequel to her book, WINGS. After I started the book, I realized that I didn't remember WINGS that well and with no prologue, the only way to follow the story was to re-read the first book. This wasn't so bad since I really enjoyed reading the book again (and it was a pretty fast read).

In her sequel, the writer enters the faerie world of Avalon. It's a colorful world, full of music, ballet, art and a complex class structure. Laurel is having a hard time choosing between Tamani, a faerie friend since childhood, and David, her human boyfriend. When trolls kidnap her best girlfriend, she turns to David to help save her friend instead of Tamani. Does this mean that David is her choice? I'll be anticipating the next book to find out...

MARIGOLD on Kindle for $.99

My book, MARIGOLD: Book One of the Elven Chronicles, is on Kindle and The Nook for only $.99!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Book Review for DELIRIUM

DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver is a dystopian Romeo + Juliet fantasy for YA readers. Although I didn't love this book by Oliver as much as BEFORE I FALL, I was captivated by the characters and story. Oliver really draws you into the world, and the future she paints is not so unbelievable. The story is very emotional and at the same time, heartbreaking. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Voices of Dragons book review

I just read VOICES OF DRAGONS by Carrie Vaughn. The premise of the book is pretty great: dragons and humans, after living together peacefully, have been separated by fear and misunderstandings. A teen, Kay, befriends a dragon by chance and realizes that friendships between species can occur and endure. But, the military wants to stir up the dragons and force them to attack humans so they can take over their land. Kay and her dragon must take a stand to prove to both dragons and humans that both races can live in peace.

I wish that there had been more character development between Kay and her friends and Kay and her dragon. There was a fair amount of action, but it was at the expense of interaction with family and friends. The book seemed a bit rushed and the ending left room for a sequel. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would read the sequel if there is one.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Book Review

I just read a YA fantasy called FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan. The main character, Jacinda, is a human who can turn into a type of dragon (draki) and lives in fear of hunters who kill drakis. One day, while flying with her best friend (against the pride's wishes), she meets a hunter who discovers her but doesn't let the other hunters know. When her mother relocates her and her sister to a town in the dry Arizona desert, she encounters the boy, Will, at her new school. Despite knowing that he is a hunter, they are drawn to each other.

The characters are all well-written and this Romeo-Juliet story manages to remain fresh and new. I'm hoping there will be a sequel to this story; the ending hints at one.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Book reviews!

Finally getting around to some book reviews. The first review is for MATCHED by Ally Condie: Cassia never has to make any decisions in her life. Her choices are decided by society, and society will even pick her mate. But a mishap on her 18th birthday sends the picture of another boy who is not her chosen mate. Suddenly, she starts thinking about making her own choices in a world where that is not allowed. Highly recommended - looking forward to the sequel.
WITHER by Lauren DeStefano is another dystopian fantasy, but with a more Victorian feel than the former. This book has lush descriptions of people, clothing and even food. Tension builds in the book and the ending leaves one wanting to read the sequel.
THE DRAGON OF TRELIAN by Michelle Knudsen is a middle grade fantasy about a magician who must find his magic and a princess who finds a dragon. Shannon Hale readers will enjoy this book, as I did. I'll be looking for the sequel to this fantasy as well.