Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Review of Mark of Defiance (Defiance Gray #2) by Adrianne Brooks

3.5 Stars. A Scary Journey. I enjoyed the dark imagery and scary moments of this book. There were also some interesting philosophical questions that the book raised about religion and being open minded, which I liked. And, most of all I enjoyed seeing Defiance’s character grow and watching her start to open her mind and question all the things her “church” had taught her.

However, there were places where the plot dragged a bit, and the pacing felt off. I think if the first book had been combined with this one, and the author had cut a few things that it would have had a better flow.

Like in the first book there were a few contradictions that took me out of the story. For example they’re taught to lie in school, but lying to a high priest is a bad thing. Also Defiance seemed to have never seen windows before, but I thought I remembered her climbing back into her orphanage through a window in the first book. Also there’s a mention of using gas from old cars in the desert, but considering this is supposed to take place hundreds of years after the apocalypse, the gas shouldn’t be good anymore. They were just little annoyances, but they pulled me out of the story.

The biggest problem I had, was that I just didn’t feel drawn in to the budding romance between Defiance and Uriel. I could kind of understand Defiance having a bit of a crush on Uriel, but there’s so little we actually know about him that I had a hard time connecting to him as a love interest for her. As a protector and an Angel, he’s written perfectly, but I think he maybe didn’t seem human enough for me to believe that there could be a relationship between the two of them.

That said, I did love the ending, and how much Defiance was actually involved in saving the day. It felt like her learning about her gift was building up to that moment, and it finished the story off in a great way.


Read my Review for Act of Defiance (Defiance Gray #1)



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Join my Street Team

Do you like free stuff? Then you might like being a part of my street team. Join for free, and participate as much or as little as you want. Help me promote my books and get free stuff like books and swag in return.

What You'll Get:

Members of my street team will have access to...
  • Free Books (Mine, and those of other authors)
  • ARC copies for review
  • Swag like bookmarks and stickers
  • Exclusive content related to my books
  • Amazon gift cards

What You Have to Do:

Helping me promote my work is easy. I'll e-mail you when I have a promotion coming up, and you can help by...
  • Tweeting about my promotion
  • Sharing my content on Facebook
  • Handing out swag like stickers and bookmarks
  • Hosting a giveaway
  • Posting content on your blog like cover reveals, interviews, ect...

And, if you're ever unable to help, or choose not to promote a particular project for me, you don't have to do anything. The more you participate the more prizes you have access to.

Join my team today and receive a free kindle copy of one of my books, your choice. All members will receive an e-mail within a few days of applying asking which book they would like.

 

What Will Your Street Team be Promoting Next?

Within the following months my street team members will have access to ARC copies of my next book Unearthed After Sunset, a NA Vampire Suspense novel. They will have the opportunity to be a part of my cover reveal, blog tour, and release party this fall.
 
 




Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Review for Act of Defiance by Adrianne Brooks

4 Stars. Dark and Fascinating. I found this book well written and filled with beautiful imagery. It was darker than most YA I’ve read, but in a way that fit the story. It has some truly dark dystopian elements that wouldn’t have worked if they’d been taken more lightheartedly, so I appreciated the author taking the story to the places it needed to go. Parts were honestly scary, but each scene had a purpose.

This book has a really interesting religious element. It takes place in a dystopian world where demons have taken over the earth and the surviving humans all worship Satan. So much time has passed that living under the satanic church’s rule is all they’ve ever known. It took a little time to completely understand why the world was the way it was, but the pieces came together at a nice pace. It was interesting hearing the biblical stories I knew well from a demon’s perspective, and it was all written in a way that made it easy to understand why the people lived the way they did.

As for the main character I didn’t like Defiance’s name it just felt a little too obvious, especially when I loved the names of the other characters. It felt like the author put some thought into naming her characters and the places they visited. I did, however, like Defiance’s character. She’s trying to make her way in a world that doesn’t offer her many choices. She’s a little rebellious, but she has a big heart. I enjoyed watching her character develop and seeing her start to question all of the things she’d been taught growing up.

I also really liked Uriel and the comradery between him and Defiance, however I didn’t quite feel the chemistry between them. Near the end of the book, when they start to get to know one another better they felt closer, but for most the book it felt like they had more of a mentor/mentee type relationship. During the moments when they’re put in more romantic situations it just didn’t quite feel right to me, and considering Uriel is an archangel there was something that felt off about him kissing Defiance, especially when she still openly worshiped Satan. I hope with the second book that their relationship will develop more.

My main complaint with this book, and why it lost a star for me, was that it felt short, and ended in a spot that made it feel incomplete. The beginning was great and there was plenty of mystery to fuel the story and keep the plot moving forward, however it didn’t end with the main character meeting any of her goals. Defiance and Uriel survive a fight, but they had set out to find the graves of the “Four Saints” and they don’t make it there. Knowing this is a series, obviously the overall plot isn’t going to be resolved, but it felt too much like the story just cut off.

 

Friday, January 30, 2015

New Book in the Works!

Hello lovely readers.

It's been almost a year since I've published a book, and it feels like forever. But, I have been working on something, and I'm finally ready to share a little bit about it with all of you. Unearthed After Sunset is a little different from my previous books. It's New Adult instead of YA, and it's told mostly through a male POV. But, if you've liked my previous books I think you will find my same voice and style in this one. Unearthed After Sunset will be the first book in the Cereus Vampire Chronicles and it's about one young man's journey to find his place in the world after becoming a vampire, and the girl not even death will let him forget.

Check out Unearthed After Sunset's Goodreads Page

Not the Actual Cover - Cover Reveal Soon!
Synopsis:

When Greg Erickson is killed by sultry and seductive vampire Lila, he wakes up cold and alone in a wooden box. After failing a college class, losing his job, and getting dumped by his girlfriend, Greg starts to think that maybe life as a vampire will be better than it was as a human. But, he quickly learns that being a vampire isn’t quite as fascinating as it is in the movies. There are no gothic mansions or vampire royalty, no fancy super powers; just a group of outsiders, excluded from society and forced to find their way in a world where they no longer belong.

Greg is thrust into a vampire turf war, unsure of exactly what he’s fighting for. And, while he finds freedom in being released from society’s expectations, he also finds challenges as he does what he must to survive. Greg discovers that it’s not easy to be human one day and hunting humans the next, and while his new vampire cohorts try to get him to accept his newfound existence there’s one girl from his human life he’s unable to forget.

Caroline Christensen lived a normal life once. Then her brother was killed by vampires and her family legacy as a vampire hunter was handed down to her. Refusing to completely give up her life Caroline spends her days doing normal things like hanging out with her friends or working her day job, but at night she hits the cemeteries and hunts the undead. She manages to find a balance between the two, until she meets a cute guy one night at the bar.

When Greg discovers Caroline’s secret she’s worried he’ll never talk to her again, but soon she finds out that he has a very different reason for not calling – he’s dead. Now Greg has become the thing Caroline is supposed to hunt, but can she bring herself to kill him?

Greg, however, isn't Caroline’s only concern. There’s something going on with the vampires. They’re fighting over something and she’s determined to find out what it is.  


Unearthed After Sunset will be published in Fall of 2015, but if you don't want to wait that long to read it, I am currently seeking Beta Readers. If you're interested in betaing, please e-mail me at LaurynApril@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Labeling Books: Are YA and NA Genres or Reading Levels?

Some consider YA and NA a genres, while others call them reading levels. The latter often leads to criticism of adults who read YA. So what exactly do the labels YA and NA mean?


Genre: If YA and NA are genres then they are reading categories. Horror, romance, science fiction, fantasy, ect... are all genres. Many libraries and book stores have separate sections for YA and NA novels, which would seem to support the idea that YA and NA are genres.

Reading Level: A reading level is a scale used to give information on how old a person needs to be to either comprehend the writing in a particular book or how old a person needs to be for the content of a particular book to be appropriate. Reading levels are like movie ratings, they help direct a particular audience to a book based on their age. Considering many YA books are written with young adults as the intended reader, this idea makes some sense.

However, as an avid reader and writer of both YA and NA novels I wonder if the labels YA and NA are neither a genre nor a reading level.

So, if YA and NA aren't genres or a reading levels then what are they?

Point of View: I think the best answer is that YA and NA are simply points of view. The type of story will determine the genre. For example a YA Paranormal Romance is a story in the Paranormal Romance genre told through a young adult's point of view. As for reading level, the content of the story will determine that. Because YA stories are told through the eyes of a young adult character many of them will be appropriate for a group of readers the same age as the protagonist. But, that doesn't mean you can't write a story appropriate for a younger or older audience with a main character who's in their teens.

So if YA and NA are points of view, does that mean anyone can read them? YES, but they are written for a particular audience. YA books are written for people who want to see the world through a teenager's perspective. Anyone, of any age can enjoy reading about a character who is dealing with coming of age problems, like falling in love for the first time. The same can be said for NA books. These books are written for people who want to read about a character dealing with the types of things one deals with in their twenties, like becoming independent.

So there you have it, those are my thoughts on what the labels YA and NA mean. What do you think?