Tag Archive | Indigo Incite

Review of EVAN ELEMENTAL by Crystal Groszek and Pinterest Father’s Day project

evan elemental

I signed up to participate in the blog tour for Crystal Groszek’s book, EVAN EVOLVED, Book 2 in this trilogy, because the blurb sounded fascinating and I always enjoy a good YA paranormal story. I decided I’d better read the first book, EVAN ELEMENTAL, so I’d be caught up and know what’s going on 🙂 This has been a fun trilogy to read and I’m happy to present the review of Book One: EVAN ELEMENTAL. After the book review, be sure to check out my Pinterest project for the week. Since Father’s Day is just around the corner, I decided to get the kids’ help with this one. In case you’re still looking for a project to do with the kids, it was a fun one 🙂 My pictures and review are posted at the bottom 🙂

Blurb:

Orphaned at seventeen, Evan O’Fion has a choice: let her loss define her or rise above it and become more than she ever believed she was capable of. The problem? Giving in to the darkness that calls her is just too easy. Add in to the mix the ability to control the elements and travel across space and time, and Evan is pretty sure she’s going to lose it completely. Giving in would be a relief, but Evan is beginning to realize that there are people counting on her and that the mystery of her past is the key to it all.

As Evan struggles to put her party-girl ways behind her, she must learn to control her new abilities and face the fact that everything she thought she knew about herself was a lie. On top of it all, she has to face a new town, new home, new school, and a sexy dangerous guy…or two.

Dealing has never been Evan’s strong suit. How she’s going to handle it all and come out alive, she has no idea, but she’s stronger than ever and she’s not going down without a fight.

Review:

I enjoyed the story a lot. It was a quick read and kept me wanting to find out what would happen next. As with any story there are always aspects that I enjoy and things I would change. The story is told from a first person point of view from the main character, Evan. At age seventeen, Evan is orphaned at the beginning of the story and sent to live with a relative she’s never met. Her world is surrounded in mystery from the moment she enters her new life, and she is kept relatively in the dark throughout most of the story. Crystal has a knack for keeping the story progressing smoothly, and I flew through the book because I kept wanting to find out what would happen next. Soon after Evan arrives to her new town, she begins to discover that she is developing supernatural abilities and can manipulate the elements of nature.

As much as I enjoyed the story, I had mixed emotions about the main character Evan and had a hard time relating to her. When I read YA books, I always consider the teenagers I work with and whether I would recommend the same book for them. Keeping in mind that YA books are typically considered to fall in the 13-17 age group, I would definitely say that this story is for the older age range of mature YA readers due to language and Evan’s poor choices of turning to drugs. The story would have been just as entertaining if Evan didn’t use drugs because there wasn’t an explicit “good” reason following the plot development for her to turn to drugs, not that there ever is a good reason anyway. In this case, Evan just seems like a spoiled brat. I can see that teenagers who struggle with drugs and alcohol would be able to relate to the character, but the main plot of the story has nothing to do with overcoming a drug addiction, it was just a character flaw. I would have enjoyed it more if Evan could be seen as a better role model to younger readers. With that said, because I had to get in out there since this is a YA book, it was an enjoyable story.

There is definite character development throughout the story, and I enjoyed reading about Evan as she discovered her new supernatural abilities. I haven’t read a story exactly like this one before with a character who can manipulate the elements of nature. It was very interesting. The only thing I would have liked to have seen more would have been more time spent on Evan exploring her new abilities. There were a few instances in the story that focused on her new talents, but they were all fairly brief. I anticipate that in the stories to come, Evan will continue to discover what she is capable of. I think this first story is just the beginning of more to come 🙂

I also enjoyed the love story entwined within. As Evan is struggling to deal with the loss of her parents, discovering her new abilities, and the obvious secrets those around her are keeping, she is also faced with a surprising love interest, who IS a very likable character. 🙂

There were a few instances in the story when I questioned the first person perspective and choice of verb usage and a few punctuation errors here and there, but nothing that was distracting unless you were looking for it. Overall, this was a great story. *Warning* it does end with a huge cliffhanger, so it’s a good thing the second book, EVAN EVOLVED, is already out. I anxiously started reading it the day after I finished this book 🙂 Look for my review of EVAN EVOLVED on Sunday 🙂

***3 Stars

FREE on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Evan-Elemental-Crystal-Groszek-ebook/dp/B00CNF0BEU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402437829&sr=8-1&keywords=evan+elemental

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17887135-evan-elemental?from_search=true

Pinterest Project

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Father’s Day Project “Dad Rocks”

I had a hard time deciding which Father’s Day project to do this year. After perusing Pinterest, I came up with a ton of fun ideas. I pinned all of the great projects I found under “Kids Crafts” if you’re looking for other Father’s Day ideas. The link to my Pinterest page is at the bottom of this post 🙂 I decided on this salt dough project because my kids LOVE rocks and they were all able to participate in the project.

To start with I sent the kids into the backyard in search of rocks. This was the easy part because I live in Arizona, and half of my backyard is made up of rocks 🙂 The project definitely could have been on a smaller scale using smaller rocks – the rocks we used ranged between 1/2 inch – 1.5 inches. The dimensions for the final project are 12″ x 6″.

After we gathered the rocks, the kids had fun sorting out their favorites and figuring out which rocks would work best for each letter. Once we had sorted through the rocks and spelled out “Dad Rocks”, the kids helped me mix up the salt dough mixture. It was difficult to knead the dough, but we still took “turns” and the girls thought they were helping to knead it and that’s what mattered 🙂 The next step was to roll it out. We rolled it on floured wax paper so it would be easy to transfer to a cookie sheet. The rectangle is, of course, not perfect, but it’s a kids’ project and the kids helped, so that’s what matters 🙂

photo 1(1) photo 2(2)

It’s optional of course, but I decided it would look cute and be more personalized if they made an imprint of their hands first. The rocks cover up half of their handprints, but I like that it gives a personalized touch 🙂 Once they pressed their hands in, I carefully pressed in each rock. I thought each rock was secure, but once it had baked, 2 of the rocks fell out. This is an easy fix with superglue, but I would suggest double checking that the rocks are completely pressed into the dough.

Another thing to be aware of is that if you make a project of this size it’s going to take a REALLY long time to bake, so don’t plan on using the oven for a while.  Also, if you plan to hang it up, which I hadn’t planned on at first, make sure you punch the holes before you bake it. After we put it all together, I started to bake it and then started wondering what we were going to do with it once we give it to “Daddy” for Father’s Day. It’s a little too big to just place on a desk. About an hour and a half into the baking process, I realized that it would look cute hung up, so I pulled it out of the oven, and thankfully the dough was still soft enough that I could punch holes 🙂 A small smaller project, of course, would make a cute paper weight.

When all was said and done, it took approximately 12-14 hours to bake. It’s a big process, but the kids loved it, and I’m happy that it turned out cute. The kids are very excited to give it to their daddy for Father’s Day 🙂 I found several salt dough recipes online and they all seemed to vary slightly. I’m sure they all work, some call for more salt, some call for higher baking temperatures. I just picked a recipe that had a good blog and description, but there are lots more out there. If you don’t have your own salt dough recipe, this is the one I used. Here’s the full link to the blog if you want to read more on the recipe:

http://www.craftychild.com/salt-dough-recipe.html

Salt Dough for crafts

– 3 Cups flour

– 1/2 cup table salt

– 1 1/4 cut water

Directions:

Mix flour and salt in a bowl. To make colored dough, add a couple teaspoons of food coloring to the water before you add it to the flour mix. Slowly stir in the water then knead the dough on a floured surface. If the dough is too crumbly, slowly add a little water at a time until it is smooth and elastic – 5 to 10 minutes.

Bake at 170 degrees on a baking paper lined tray. It will take a while so just keep an eye on it. The bigger the project, the longer it’s going to take. The project is finished when it’s hard and you can’t make an indentation in it. Also be sure to check the bottom. At first I thought our project was finished, but the bottom was still soft. I peeled the paper off and put it on a lower rack to finish baking.

For more Father’s Day ideas check out my Pinterest Page 🙂

Indigo Instinct Excerpt #1

Indigo Instinct for Kindle

With only 3 weeks until the release of Indigo Instinct, it’s time to share an excerpt 🙂 Enjoy!!!

“What the hell was that all about?” Eddie hissed from close behind.

With her back to him, Grace continued to fill a pitcher with water at the drink station. Then she turned to him with an innocent grin. “What was what all about?”

“Did that guy give you his phone number?”

“What difference does it make? You’re here with your girlfriend. It would seem to me that you should be paying more attention to her and less attention to who I talk to. It’s really none of your business.”

For a moment, she imagined tossing the ice water over his head but didn’t think that would go over well once word got back to Aunt Mae, as it surely would, so instead, she set the pitcher on a nearby table and took a step away to resist the temptation.

“It is my business. You were the one who just informed me yesterday that trackers are after us again. Do you really think it’s safe to be flirting with strangers?”

“You’re questioning my judgment? You brought your girlfriend along. What are you going to say when the bad guys show up at your motel door? Are you going to make time for introductions? ‘Hey, Jenna, let me introduce the IIA.'” She rolled her eyes and shook her head. “For a smart guy, you’re pretty dumb. I can’t believe you brought her.”

You told me to!”

“I was desperate to get you here. I didn’t think you’d actually bring her. You couldn’t have just sent her home?”

“Grace, I’m sorry. I should have told you about her earlier. I just… I didn’t know how.”

She shook her head again. “Whatever, Eddie. You made your choice. I need to get back to work. There’s a table waiting to order.”

She swiveled around to go, but he placed a hand on her arm to stop her. “Grace, wait.”

She focused to keep her face expressionless. She would cry later. Not now. “What?”

“Don’t trust that guy. Don’t trust anyone right now.”

“Oh don’t worry. I don’t. I don’t trust anyone.” She nodded her head toward Jenna. “Especially her.”

 

Want to read more? Indigo Instinct coming May 20th!!!

Have you seen the trailer yet? If not you can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYp3BdFjYqI

Are you behind on reading the trilogy? Book One, Indigo Incite, is only 99cents on Amazon 🙂

 

 

Indigo Instinct cover reveal!!!

Here it is. I am so excited to share my beautiful cover for Indigo Instinct, Book 2 of the Indigo Trilogy, coming May 20th! Read on to enter a giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card, check out the exciting trailer, and take advantage of the final day to download Book One: Indigo Incite for FREE!

Indigo Instinct for Kindle

Indigo Instinct, Book Two of the Indigo Trilogy, picks up where Indigo Incite left off to continue the adventure.

Blurb:

They thought they were safe

Identical twins, Tyler and Toby, escaped the clutches of a covert government agency determined to exploit their extra-sensory powers. Before they regained their freedom, they acquired proof of the agency’s existence, proof that was guaranteed to secure immunity not only for themselves but for their friends as well.

They took more than they bargained for

When the brothers learn that they have unfinished business with the agency, they find themselves reunited with Indigo Children, Liliana, Grace, Eddie, and Rebecka and once again on the run.

They must rely on their instincts

While Grace and Eddie discover that love isn’t always easy, Sarah’s life is thrown into turmoil, and her guilty conscience leads to fear and distrust of her own heart.

Intuition doesn’t lie

There are new players in the game and it isn’t easy to know who to trust

Sometimes the right path isn’t always the easiest

Is there a way to give the agency what they want and still retain their freedom? Find out in Indigo Instinct, Book Two of The Indigo Trilogy.

Trailer:

Download Indigo Incite: Book One for FREE. Today only!!!

http://tinyurl.com/kq4rdx8

Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card!!!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/61050a13/

Add to your Goodreads shelf:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19149125-indigo-instinct?from_search=true

My sincere gratitude goes out to Book Addicts One Stop PR Shop for hosting my cover reveal 🙂

MY BANNER    http://www.bookaddictsonestopprshop.com/

Giveaway and Indigo Incite Book Trailer

In case you missed it, I wanted to share the trailer for Indigo Incite. Make sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway, too, for a chance to win a $10 Amazon giftcard and four fantastic eBooks!

Ready to read Indigo Incite? Today is the final day that it will be on sale for 99CENTS! Get it now before
Book 2, Indigo Instinct, is released 🙂

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Indigo-Incite-The-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00CT9XL42/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390768475&sr=8-1&keywords=indigo+incite

Enter the GIVEAWAY here:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MDhiZGQxYzVlMzIyODA3NmRmN2NlYjBiNzFlMmM0OjE3/
 

Good luck!! 🙂

Interview with author Cyndi Tefft

Between (Between, #1)  I am thrilled to present my final interview of the year with author Cyndi Tefft. I haven’t yet read her book, BETWEEN, a YA paranormal romance, but I have just added it to my TBR list and absolutely can’t wait to start reading the series. As I’ve gotten to know Cyndi I have discovered that she and I have a lot in common so I know that I will love her writing. The plot sounds fascinating so I’m excited that it’s a series so I’ll be able to continue the story line once I finish the first book. Please enjoy her interview and then check out the blurb for the first book in her series, BETWEEN.

Cyndi Tefft

1. Cyndi, I just looked up the first book in your series, BETWEEN, and I’ve just added it to my TBR list! You had me at Scottish accent 🙂 Add in paranormal romance and I’m hooked. I can’t wait to read it! What makes BETWEEN stand out from other paranormal romances?

BETWEEN is about a modern girl who dies in an accident and the 18th century Scottish Highlander who comes to take her to heaven. The majority of the book takes place in the realm in between Earth and heaven, rather than the heroine being tied to this world, which is unique (at least I haven’t seen it in another book!). Aiden MacRae is a grim reaper of sorts, but ‘grim’ is not among the words I would use to describe him. Sexy, sweet, charming…yes! But not grim. 🙂

2. When I write, I am often surprised my things my characters do and say. What has surprised you the most about your characters?

I remember while writing the second book in this series, Hell Transporter, I had in mind that the next scene would be a love scene, but instead, my characters decided to have a rip-roaring fight! I didn’t know anything about it until I started writing and out it came. LOL

3. I would like to interview the main character, Lindsey, for a moment:
 Lindsey, falling for Aiden is anything but practical. What do you see in him that you find irresistible?

You’re telling me! Who would have thought? But still, you’ll understand once you meet him. I never stood a chance. Not only is he hotness incarnate, but his kindness towards others, and the way he cares for me… I’ve never met anyone like him. *blissful sigh*

4. I was thrilled to learn that you’re from Seattle because that’s where I grew up. When you’re not writing, what do you do for fun in Seattle?

Seattle is a great city (apart from the miserable traffic!). I’ve lived here for about six years. There are a ton of touristy activities to do here (Space Needle, Seattle Center with the Pacific Science Center and the Chihuly Glass Museum, the Experience Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum). I’m a little bit of a homebody, though, so I tend to go out with friends for food and fun, just like you’d do anywhere else.

5. I also see that you’re just as crazy about Scotland as I am, and I am extremely jealous that you’ve been there. What did you enjoy the most about your visit?

I’ve been twice, actually, and I would go again in a heartbeat if I could! The highlight of the first trip was visiting Eilean Donan Castle (the home of the hero in my books). Standing in the great hall that I’d written about, seeing it through Aiden’s eyes, was a surreal experience! On the second trip, we visited Orkney (islands to the north of the mainland), where there are ancient stone villages sunk into the earth. Totally cool!

6. If BETWEEN was turned into a movie, who do you imagine would play Lindsey and Aiden?

I actually have a Pinterest board where I collect pictures just for this fantasy! http://www.pinterest.com/cynditefft/between-series/  Chris Hemsworth is the closest I can come to Aiden. There are a few women who have the look of Lindsey, but the closest is a model Rachel LaHood. I can’t imagine what it would be like to see the book come to life on the big screen. Amazing. As my daughter would say: DO WANT.

7. What are your favorite must-have comforts when you are writing?

I listen to classical music while writing, which helps me block out the rest of the world and slip into the zone. Mostly, I just need space where no one is going to interrupt me!

8. What sort of writing projects do you have planned for the future?

I am currently writing the fourth book in the Between series, as well as dabbling here and there on some other projects, both YA and adult. Anything I write will be a love story, though!

BETWEEN by Cyndi Tefft

Blurb:

It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water’s life isn’t alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile and Scottish accent.

After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates.

Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven’s siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries.

Want to read Between and the rest of the series?

Add Between to your Goodreads list: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11152377-between

Purchase on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Between-Cyndi-Tefft/dp/1460937104/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385438433&sr=8-1&keywords=between+cyndi+tefft

Interview with author Amber Forbes

WhenStarsDie-3-1

I’ve recently added another book to my TBR Goodreads list. It is WHEN STARS DIE by Amber Forbes. Along with the fact that the book’s description sounds fascinating, Amber’s interview reveals that the story is sure to be a good one. I am certain that her entertaining personality shines through in her writing as well 🙂 After you enjoy her interview, take a look at the links for her social media pages as well as links where you can purchase her book. She also wanted me to let you know that you can currently enter to win a copy of WHEN STARS DIE on Goodreads.

 Amber

Me:  Amber, your author bio on Amazon amused me and made me smile. Any time I read a snippet of something that you write I sense a quirky sense of humor behind the author. How does your personality play into your writing?

Amber:  My writing itself isn’t quirky at all. It’s in fact very dark. There are no snarky characters in my book, When Stars Die, and there are really no quirky characters in it, either. It’s a dark book, through and through, from Amelia, to the romance, and to everyone and everything else. While I have a sense of humor, I also have bipolar disorder and really struggle from the depression aspect of it—and depression can create a lot of dark thoughts. So my writing often stems from the darkest times in my life. The sequel to When Stars Die, however, does contain snark and a few quirky characters. That book is called The Stars Are Infinite.

Me:  What inspired you to write WHEN STARS DIE?

Amber:  Oh, goodness, there is no one point of inspiration for this. I know a lot of authors get inspired by a lot of external things, but the only external things that inspired me were my desire to fervently write about witches, and then to write about witches in a convent. Everything else just spewed from my imagination—and, no, I don’t have a muse. I don’t believe in a muse. Perhaps there were some external things that perhaps inspired the complex world found in WSD, but I can’t currently think of anything. After all, I started this book at fifteen.

Me:  It sounds like dancing is an important part of your life. Tell me a little about this.

Amber:  It sounds so cliché, but I wanted to do ballet because of the movie, Black Swan. A lot of ladies started ballet because of that movie, but the difference between me and most of them is that I’ve stuck with it because I knew it wasn’t going to be easy when I started it. A lot of people heard about how Natalie Portman started ballet for the movie, and they had this misconception that she did most of the dancing when she did not. She learned ballet in six months, and even though she danced every day and had hours of other physical exercises, it takes WAY more than six months to dance at a professional level. But I’ve been doing ballet for two years and have been en pointe for about one year and a half. I can ALMOST do just about everything en pointe. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done, but also one of the most rewarding things, and it gives me the confidence to take on just about anything.

Me:  Write a short synopsis of your future autobiography ten years from now. What do you see yourself doing?

Amber:  Amber Skye Forbes has spent her life writing stories for young adults that have ranged from paranormal to fantasy to literary contemporary. She still continues to write for young adults and has little interest for writing in other markets. She has also been doing ballet for fifteen years, and while she will probably never dance professionally, she still enjoys much of what ballet has to offer, including pointe work. Every year she has danced in her studio’s production, The Roar of Love, and has danced a myriad of roles in this production. She has also worked many jobs in publishing, most of them internships, from editing to formatting to publishing, and continues to maintain her literary magazine, The Corner Club Press. Her current jobs are writer, private tutor, and freelance editor. She is married to Jeff Ferreira, is insistent on remaining childless, and considers her cats her children.

Me:  What makes your book, WHEN STARS DIE, stand out from other books in the same genre?

Amber:  One reviewer said that if you’re expecting another Twilight re-hash, you’ll be in for a surprise in my book because Amelia is no Bella Swan (Stephenie Meyer, however, is largely successful for a reason, and for that reason alone, I do consider her a good writer even though I don’t like her books). The romance in WSD is dark and is arguably romantic, but it’s incredibly dark at the end. I also have a new take on witches that doesn’t exist in any other book. My witches are birthed from the Seven Deadly Sins that their parents commit on a continual basis. They also don’t have special magical abilities. They simply create fire, and that fire is merely to mark them as a witch. Of course, this fire is more powerful than at first glance, but most witches cannot control their fire. It is uncontrollable, and for that reason, it brands them as a witch and makes them known to anyone and everyone for whoever happens to see a witch cast fire. I also know people are tired of romance in paranormal, but I started this book at fifteen, well before the paranormal craze took off, and it has always had the romance aspect in it—and I wasn’t going to change that just because it became trendy.

Me:  What do you like best about the main character in your story, Amelia?

Amber:  I love that Amelia is determined and loyal, and while she bears a lot of darkness, she uses that darkness to push her forward in order to achieve her goals, especially at the end of the book, when she really feels like giving up.

Me:  I would like to interview “Amelia” for a minute. Amelia, why should WHEN STARS DIE be the next book that readers pick up to read?

Amber:  (Amelia:) I honestly wish they wouldn’t because I’m terrified of people getting to know me and my life. I wish Amber hadn’t written anything about me because, frankly, everything that happens to me is terrifying. I see things and hear things that no one else does. I bear the dark secrets of others. I have done horrible things and have betrayed people I didn’t mean to betray. While she describes me as loyal and determined, I feel anything but.

Me:  Describe your dream vacation.

Amber:  My dream vacation would be a tour around Europe. I lived in Italy when I was very, very young, and I do have some memories of living there, even though I was only like two or three. But I remember it being a very beautiful place, and it seems like anywhere you go in Europe is going to be much different geography wise. In America, I feel like everywhere you go just looks the same—except for like the exceptional landmarks. Otherwise, it’s Wal-Marts galore and fast foods restaurants lining every street.

Me:  What can readers look for in the future from you? Any projects in the works?

Amber:  I am working on the sequel to When Stars Die, The Stars Are Infinite. This will have a new main character. Amelia will still be in it, but she will be playing a lesser role; however, her role will be major again in the third book.
I am also working on a contemporary fantasy currently titled, When Heaven Was Blue. This is about Gene White, a boy living with treatment-resistant depression, who finds himself in the hands of a puppeteer and doll maker after being rescued from a suicide attempt.

Me:  Favorite Book? Favorite Movie? Favorite Dessert?

Amber:  The Fault in Our Stars, The Lion King, and Haagen Daz White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle.

WHEN STARS DIE blurb:

Amelia Gareth’s brother is a witch and the only way to save her family from the taint in his blood is to become a professed nun at Cathedral Reims. However, in order to become professed, she must endure trials that all nuns must face.

Surviving these trials is not easy, especially for Amelia, who is being stalked by shadowy beings only she can see. They’re searching for people they can physically touch, because only those they can touch can see them. Amelia soon learns why she is being stalked when she accidentally harms her best friend with fire during the third trial. Fire is a witch’s signature. The shadows are after witches.

Now Amelia must decide what to do: should she continue on her path to profession knowing there is no redemption, or should she give up on her dream and turn away from Cathedral Reims in order to stop the shadows who plan to destroy everything she loves?

Follow Amber at:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AmberSkyeForbes

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AmberSkyeF

Blog:  http://amberskyeforbes.wordpress.com/

Webpage:  http://amberskyeforbes.com/

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18387010-when-stars-die

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/When-Stars-Amber-Skye-Forbes/dp/0989312879/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383515711&sr=8-1&keywords=amber+skye+forbes