Heritage (Imagine #3) by Jenna Greene Review

The dangerous new world created by the Coalition puts the Elementals to the test in author Jenna Greene’s latest novel, Heritage, book three in the Imagine series.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The dangerous new world created by the Coalition puts the Elementals to the test in author Jenna Greene’s latest novel, Heritage, book three in the Imagine series. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

As Becky tries to adjust to life back on Earth, in Oren, Prince Eston suffers under the deadly effects of broxide poisoning. 

While Cristox Savu joins with an unlikely friend as he attempts to save his people from extinction, Leda and Jamee, two of the three Naturals, those born with magic, struggle to defend the sanctuary of the Painter’s Valley. 

And, even as they finally face the feelings they have for each other, Kat and Ino must evade the Coalition’s clutches as they journey to discover what is affecting magic across Oren–before it is too late and magic, and an even deadlier enemy, destroys Oren and everyone Kat cares about.

The Review

All I can say is…wow. As a reader and fan of this growing series, I am more than blown away by the world building, character driven and emotionally charged story told by author Jenna Greene. This third novel in the Imagine series takes readers to new heights as we not only explore the Elementals fighting to survive in a world where their natural born gift for magic is outlawed as criminal behavior. Hunted and hated, the heroes must find a way to combat not only this powerful new organization, but the hatred and fear being stoked within the citizens of the kingdom of Areth. 

The author finds new and exciting ways to build upon the Oren mythology, including seeing how the magical realm has affected our own world. Seeing Becky’s journey struggling with the loss of her time on Oren and trying to find out what happened to her during all those weeks she was missing, it was great to see this young and powerful character continue to add to the overall narrative. Seeing the beginning of Kat and Ino’s relationship growing into something more than friends was a nice added development throughout this dramatic storyline, and readers will not believe their eyes when the book’s climax reveals the shadowy villain working behind the scenes of the Coalition.

The Verdict

This is a fantastic addition to this massively growing fantasy series by author Jenna Greene. A twist ending that leaves the possibility for more and more books in the franchise, the Imagine series continues to share the powerful world building techniques of the fantasy genre in new and unique ways. If you love YA fantasy as much as I do, then be sure to grab Heritage (Imagine #3) by Jenna Greene today.

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

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Jenna Greene is the author of the acclaimed Young Adult   Fantasy series, Imagine!  She is a middle school teacher, dragonboat coach, enthusiastic dancer, and semi-professional napper. She lives in Lethbridge, Alberta with her husband (Scott), daughter (Olivia), and dog (Thor, dog of thunder). 

http://www.jennagreene.ca/

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Reality (Imagine #2) by Jenna Greene Review

The world of Oren faces a new danger as anti-magic rhetoric and a mission to return a friend home make Kat Bowers and the other Elementals lives more in peril than ever before in author Jenna Greene’s Reality, book number 2 in the Imagine series.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The world of Oren faces a new danger as anti-magic rhetoric and a mission to return a friend home make Kat Bowers and the other Elementals lives more in peril than ever before in author Jenna Greene’s Reality, book number 2 in the Imagine series. Here is a synopsis.

The Synopsis

The three young Elementals discover they no longer have full control over their magic, a fact that is both unsettling and could put lives in peril. As a new group, known as the Coalition, rises in power, anti- magic sentiment spreads rom the small village of Sorc all the way to the kingdom of Areth. Amidst all this turmoil, Kat decides to undertake a new quest, one that will affect Becky’s future. Venturing into territory more hazardous than any they’ve seen before, both girls strive toward a goal they know has little hope of success.

The Review

The overlaying threat of this anti-magic group really helped elevate the dangers the heroes face in Oren. With their newfound powers essentially malfunctioning and separated by two very different missions, the Elementals must navigate the dangerous new world being created by the Coalition. 

It was fascinating and engaging as a reader to see the underlying theme of persecution and hatred based on fear arising within the novel. During these tumultuous times, it was a great way to integrate serious discussions into a fantasy driven narrative. Seeing the characters deal with that new reality, all the while going about their separate missions was a fantastic way to develop the characters even more. 

The Verdict

This was a great sequel to an already great developing series. Taking the magic of the first novel and increasing the drama and dangers of this new world, the author gave not only protagonists Kat and Becky new challenges, but gave special insight from supporting characters like Easton and the other elementals. If you enjoyed the first novel or are looking for a fun new fantasy series to dive into, then pick up your copy of Reality (Imagine #2) by Jenna Greene today.

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jenna Greene is the author of the acclaimed Young Adult   Fantasy series, Imagine!  She is a middle school teacher, dragonboat coach, enthusiastic dancer, and semi-professional napper. She lives in Lethbridge, Alberta with her husband (Scott), daughter (Olivia), and dog (Thor, dog of thunder). 

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http://www.jennagreene.ca/

Imagine by Jenna Greene Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Jenna Greene brings a dangerous, exhilarating and emotional fantasy to life in the novel Imagine, the first of the Imagine series. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

A fierce wind and a blast of green light during a strange storm causes everything to change for Katharine Bowers and Becky Thatcher. The girls wake up in Oren, an entirely different realm than their earthly city. They meet Enalie, a fading magical presence who sets an incredible destiny before them… then simply disappears. Left alone to fend off creatures that hunt them in the night, they must relay a magical heritage that doesn’t make sense, and – if possible – save a world that they know nothing about.

The Review

This book took the fantasy genre to a whole new level. A brilliant YA style fantasy novel that wasn’t afraid to delve into the brutal nature of magic and fantasy style storytelling. With an entire cast of memorable characters, the author did a fantastic job of bringing two strong, young and driven female protagonists to life. 

The world building was phenomenal in this first book of the series. Exploring the fictional world of Oren and all of the provinces within it was great to see, as was the political nature of various kingdoms and different species living throughout the world. The story of young women discovering the power within themselves and overcoming oppressive and tyrannical forces was the inspirational fantasy story everyone has been waiting for, making Jenna Greene the next great name in the fantasy genre.

The Verdict

This is a must read novel. Full of action, suspense and cinematic level storytelling, Imagine is a wonderful introduction to the world of Oren and heroes like Kat and Becky. If you enjoy a good fantasy novel with strong female lead characters and a large dose of magic, then Imagine by author Jenna Greene is the book for you. Grab your copy today!

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Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jenna Greene is the author of the acclaimed Young Adult   Fantasy series, Imagine!  She is a middle school teacher, dragonboat coach, enthusiastic dancer, and semi-professional napper. She lives in Lethbridge, Alberta with her husband (Scott), daughter (Olivia), and dog (Thor, dog of thunder). 

http://www.jennagreene.ca/

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CFI! The Book: A Satirical Aviation Comedy by Alex Stone Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The hilarious and fringe world of aviation comes back into play in author Alex Stone’s second novel, “CFI! The Book: A Satirical Aviation Comedy”. Here is the synopsis:

The Synopsis

An underpaid, overworked Certified Flight Instructor cheats death while attempting to teach a cast of incompetent student pilots to fly at a skeezy South Florida flight school; all in the quest to build flight time so he can get a “real job” at an airline. The planes break, the regs break, metal gets bent, students are lost at sea, and a Top Gun wannabe student, who has four hundred hours of flight instruction, still hasn’t made his first solo flight. “CFI! The Book” is an over-the-top satirical aviation comedy that’s loosely based on real world experiences of flight instruction, but if the FAA asks, this is all strictly fictional.

The Review

It was fun, exhilarating and exciting to jump back into the world of Alex Stone’s fictional, satirical yet all too real world of aviation hijinx. An interesting approach to the satirical aviation comedy series that the author has created, this second book of the author’s actually will surprise readers as it alludes to a prequel setting for the first novel of the author, “Hauling Checks”. You can read my review of that novel using the button below.

The story was sometimes heart-pounding, sometimes realistic but always hilarious as the author showcased many cases of impossible students and shady bosses. From an Italian student who refuses to show up to class, to an entitled student pilot who demands the instructor’s compliance and a sneaky boss who will do anything to squeeze a few more bucks out of these clueless students.

The Verdict

This is a worthy successor to the first novel author Alex Stone published. Witty, charming, sarcastic and real, this was a well written satire that showcases the aviation world in a whole new light. The fusion of aviation rules and insider knowledge of the industry mixed with the hilarious fictional characters and scenarios the author has created made this one of the most unique follow ups I’ve ever read. If you enjoy humorous, satirical works or anything involving the aviation world, then “CFI! The Book: A Satirical Aviation Comedy” by Alex Stone is the book for you. Grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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https://www.cfithebook.com/

About the Author

Alex Stone grew up in Munster, Indiana.  He’s been flying since age fourteen and received a Bachelors Degree in Aviation Science from Western Michigan University.  He has worked as a flight instructor and was a “Freight Dog” in the air cargo industry for seven years.  This is his first novel.

2019 Writing & Reading Goals

Welcome to the New Year everyone! With the beginning of a new year, it’s time to start planning ahead for what we hope to accomplish in 2019. 2018, as was the case for most of us, was a year full of turmoil and heartache. While there are no guarantees that the year ahead will be better, we can only hope. As an author and blogger, I have been planning out what I hope to accomplish in the coming year. That’s why I’m going to publicly outline my goals for 2019.

Build Website

I hope to continue building my website that you guys are currently visiting. While I want to get more viewers and followers, my ultimate goal is to provide more exposure for other authors, review and preview amazing books coming in 2019, and meet some new and amazing friends in the author community. 

Read 150 Books Or More

I will make this public on Goodreads as well, but I more than surpassed my goal of books read in 2018, and so I want to challenge myself to read 150 books or more in the coming year.

Enter 2-4 Writing Contests

Writing is going to become much more frequent and a part of my life. In 2018 my own personal writing took a step back. Between my day job becoming much more frequent and a priority, building my website and taking on more responsibilities in my personal life, my writing fell to the wayside. I did publish a short novella and began working on the third novella in that series. I also wrote the fourth book in my Nightmare Wars series. However most of that writing has fallen to the wayside, not edited or reworked or even getting a second draft. 

That’s why in the coming year, I want to further my writing goals and enter at least 2-4 writing contests. This will give me the motivation not only to write, but edit and rewrite these stories and put them out there for others to see and judge. 

Submit 2-4 Stories For Anthologies

Similar to the contests, I want to submit 2-4 stories for anthologies. I get notices all the time for publications putting anthologies together and I’d love to collaborate and work with other authors in this way. 

Edit 1-2 Books Previously Published

One thing that I’ve learned in my years as a writer and blogger/reviewer is that there is always room for improvement and more lessons to be learned. When I was first starting out, I definitely failed to edit and flesh out the stories I wrote as a young writer. I want to take some of the stories I still love that I published prematurely in my writing career, and go back and fix them. I want to bring the stories to life and edit them so that readers will appreciate them more the way that I do.

Write 1-2 Novels

I have so many series in the works and so many stories floating around in my mind, that it’s time to put some of them down to paper (or a computer screen). I hope to write at least 1-2 novels in the coming year. 

Write 2-4 Short Stories

In addition to the 1-2 novels, I hope to write 2-4 short stories (not including the contests or anthologies I plan to write stories for). 

Adapt First Graphic Novel

I would love to adapt one of my novels into a graphic novel. I plan to study and learn how to write a graphic novel, and hopefully will find an artist who is willing to collaborate on the project.

Research, Investigate and Write Book On Southern California Haunting Claims

This is a passion project I hope to pursue in the coming year. My mom and I are deeply passionate about the paranormal, more specifically finding the right science behind the paranormal (we are not religious and believe there is a science that has yet to be discovered in regards to the “spirit”). One thing we have dreamed of is going to places around the world, investigating and writing about what we found/discovered. Our goal in 2019 is to try and do this by writing our first book together on local haunts in the Southern California area. 

Monthly Vlogs on Author Anthony Avina Channel

This is not specifically a writing goal, but it is related. I used to have a vlog channel called Avina Vlogs, but after all of the turmoil and changes to YouTube, I left it behind. However I loved making videos, and want to do it again. So not only will I be filming and uploading a video each month to my new YouTube channel, Author Anthony Avina, but I will be uploading them to Facebook, Instagram and hopefully my website as well. I’m doing monthly vlogs as I have a full schedule and filming daily is not an option at this time. I may look into restarting my podcast again or creating a new one, but that is not confirmed at this time.

What are your writing goals in 2019? Any books you hope to tackle in the coming year? Leave your comments below, and to keep up on whether or not I hit my goals, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and here as I post my progress.

Interview with Author Israfel Sivad (December 2018)

1)      For any newcomers to my blog, tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Well, the truth is I’ve pretty much always written. After my parents split up when I was in fifth grade, I started writing myself to sleep at night. I did that all through middle school. I wrote lyrics based on all the song structures in the liner notes to the heavy metal tapes I owned. In high school, I turned that talent into an opportunity to write lyrics for the punk rock bands I played in. I wound up collecting many of those lyrics in my book Soundtrack for the New Millennium. Then, when I went away to college, I started keeping journals, and eventually those journals evolved into stories, novels and poems.

2)      What inspired you to write your book?

We Are the Underground initially started as a project for a writing group I joined when I left New York City in 2012 to move back down to Richmond, VA for a little while. I met a group of guys and girls at a café, and they started giving me writing prompts. Eventually, after I had already written a handful of random poems, I decided I wanted a theme running through the work as a whole. The poems so far had been very personal to me. So, I decided to incorporate my childhood spirituality into the work. Having grown up in Southern California, that wasn’t quite the same as many of my peers. It was based on the mysticism and philosophies my grandmother studied. She called herself The White Witch. Those poems eventually turned into the “Zodiac Cycle,” and that determined the structure for the rest of the book.

3)      What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I really hope readers will be inspired by We Are the Underground to create for themselves, whether that be artistically, spiritually or simply in their day-to-day lives. In addition to that, I’d love for readers to go deep with these poems and find their own meanings in them. I believe I’ve left a lot of room open for interpretation with this book. I hope people will explore all those meanings.

4)      What drew you into this particular genre?

I started writing these poems as a break from another project I was working on (the novel you reviewed earlier, Anthony, The Adversary’s Good News). The poems were able to be jotted down quickly and then revised and modified slowly over time. That allowed me to feel like I was making progress when my novel was progressing so slowly. After finishing the novel, I kept working on the poems as breaks from a handful of other, larger projects I’d started.

5)      What major differences (other than genre) did you notice when writing this book as opposed to The Adversary’s Good News? Would you say it was more difficult or easier to write this book?

Writing The Adversary’s Good News was harder than this book. The Adversary’s Good News took me nearly ten years to complete. It was a massive undertaking. The plotting and wordsmithing was unbelievable. However, We Are the Underground surprisingly required a great deal more research, particularly for the Zodiac Cycle. The Adversary’s Good News was inspired by books I’d already read. Whereas, with We Are the Underground,I spent a lot of time researching astrology for the poems themselves as well as poetic structures so that I could vary the styles and tones of each poem while simultaneously finding forms fitting each one’s content.

6)      Since we last spoke, what social media site has grown to help you connect with readers the most?

Instagram has been garnering a lot of my social media attention. I find it to be a great medium for reaching readers and interacting with the world in general.

7)      What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors or poets out there, or to anyone looking to expand and explore the poetry genre as a whole?

First, to aspiring authors and poets: Believe in yourself, and don’t give up. Nobody else can determine if you’re a writer. Only you know that. Don’t believe in artistic “gatekeepers.” Nobody else can tell you whether you’ve succeeded in accomplishing what you want to accomplish. As far as expanding and exploring the genre of poetry, I urge everybody to read everything from yesterday’s classics to today’s big press and self-published authors. Read everything from Instagram poets to The Epic of Gilgamesh. And while you’re doing all that, keep exploring what this world makes you think and feel. Write it down. Write it all down. The structures will come. You’ll discover them. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to live.

8)      What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’m pretty much always working on new projects. What I’m most excited about right now, though, is the first draft of a new novel I recently completed. I hope to release this project in the next year or two. It’s currently called Pomegranate Sutra, and it’s the story of how to find love when you believe you’re too damaged to ever let that emotion take hold. I look forward to sharing it with you all when it’s finally ready for publication.

About the Author

Israfel Sivad is the founder of Ursprung Collective, which has been referred to as “fantastic brain food” on ReverbNation. His first novel, “Crossroads Blues”, has been compared to the work of Fyodor Dostoevsky (Palmetto Review). His second novel, “The Adversary’s Good News”, was a finalist for the 2016 Chanticleer Paranormal Book Award. His stories and poems have appeared in the Santa Fe Literary Review, The Stray Branch and Badlands Literary Journal. 

Website: www.IsrafelSivad.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/israfel_sivad/

Twitter: twitter.com/UrsprungCollect

Facebook: www.facebook.com/UrsprungCollective/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ursprung-collective

Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise

Interview with Author T.L. Hughes

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I have been writing most of my life. When I was in the eighth grade, I had a teacher who encouraged us to use weekly vocabulary words in a paragraph that we had to recite aloud. It became a game for a few of us where we would use as many vocabulary words as we could, even using past weeks words. I began to write my own short stories and poetry shortly after that. 

2) What inspired you to write your book?

This book, like my first novel, Searching For Paradise, was inspired by my love of travel and meeting new and interesting people. When I travel, I always keep a road journal alongside me. The Sojourners is based upon a real life road trip through Europe in the 1980’s and had its basis in one of those journals. The characters and situations are fictional, although many of the characters possess the traits of some of the real life people I met along the way.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

That life is an incredible journey and to never give up on your dreams. Every person we meet along this journey has something to teach us. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve loved the genre ever since I started reading the road novels of Jack Kerouac. Growing up in New England, Kerouac’s novels opened my eyes to the American west. In high school, I dreamed of traveling the highways of America (and Mexico) like he did. When I graduated from college, I finally realized that dream, always taking along a notepad and pen along with me.

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5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Good question. It would probably be Decky Brady. I would ask him about his own journey into Ireland. I’d want to know what ever happened to him? Where did he end up? A later novel of mine will take place in current times, where Luke Coppens and Michael Hogan attempt to return to Europe to ty to find Decky. 

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I’m new to social media. At this point I would have to say Goodreads, where I am beginning to get followers. I also have a Facebook page. I’m looking forward to expanding my social media presence at some point with Instagram and Twitter, however, right now I am not on those sites.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

If you love writing and feel your best while doing it, keep doing it. Don’t be discouraged by naysayers and negative people. With platforms out there now like Kindle Direct Publishing and other services that assist Indie authors in publishing their work, this is a great time to be a writer. 

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

My next book is a novel that will be set in a New England mill town. It will be different than my road books. It centers around Mike Hogan in his early adolescent years. As Mike and his small group of friends move through childhood and adolescence, they encounter challenges and make decisions that will dramatically alter the course of their lives. I’m hoping to have this published within the next two years.

About the Author

T.L. Hughes was born in Salem, Massachusetts, and at a young age moved to Lowell, Massachusetts where he grew up, attending the local public schools through high school. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts in 1980, he headed west to California. Today, he lives in Orange County with his wife and family.