Book Review: Derek Agons Slays a Dragon

Derek Agons Slays a Dragon

Title: Derek Agons Slays a Dragon
Author: Samuel Tucker Young
Release Date: February 17, 2014
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Pages: 166
Format: e-book

My rating:
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Characters: Derek is your average teenager, but a bit more intelligent and lonely, a “nerd” you could call him. His professor, Prometheus, is looking for a book that Derek has, but he has his own agenda. Then there’s this talking cat that seems to be deceiving not only Derek, but the whole animal kingdom in pursuit of this book, which he claims will help Derek kill a dragon and save the world. There is also a mythical girl, Tella, that Derek falls completely head over heels for. She’s a bit cold, but we find out why as the book goes on.
Plot: The title is slightly corny and it seems like a typical fantasy, but it is so not. Every time I thought I could figure out what happens, something totally unexpected, yet still realistic comes up. At first, Derek is kind of going with the flow, shell-shocked, not really believing that his mission is what will stop the earth from destruction. Then about halfway through, he realized how much is at stake. While he is mature in the beginning of the book, his choice will ultimately decide not only his fate, but every living thing’s.
Writing: This is really where the high rating comes from. While the plot is good and well-put together, it drags slightly through the middle and picks back up again. The writing, however, remains phenomenal throughout the entire novel. The characters seem typical – misunderstood teenaged boy, talking animals, evil professor – but the way Young describes and evolves them is what held my interest. I would recommend Derek Agons Slays a Dragon to lovers of young adult fantasy with a little bit of sci-fi and coming of age reality thrown in. Great characters and great writing.

Author Spotlight: Nikki Rae

Bio: Nikki Rae is a student and writer who lives in New Jersey. She is an independent author and has appeared numerously on Amazon Best Seller lists. She is the author of The Sunshine Series and concentrates on making her imaginary characters as real as possible. She writes mainly dark, scary, romantic tales, but she’ll try anything once. When she is not writing, reading, or thinking, you can find her spending time with animals, drawing in a quiet corner, or studying people. Closely.

What all have you written? Include everything:
The Sunshine Series:
Sunshine (Book 1)
Sun Poisoned (Book 2)
Sun Damage (Book 3)

Where can we buy or see them?:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Tell us a little bit about your main character:
Sophie is a girl who has been damaged a lot during her life. The books are mainly about her struggles and how she copes, grows, and the person she becomes by the end. There are paranormal elements, but the story has always focused on Sophie’s character.

What are you working on at the minute?:
A horror/suspense stand alone spin off novel, which is currently untitled.

What genre are your books?:
It’s going to have a few characters from The Sunshine Series, but you won’t have to read it in order to understand this one. It’s a lot darker, and a lot more intense than The Sunshine Series, and I’m really enjoying writing it so far. : )

What draws you to this genre?:
I like the paranormal because it hints at a different world going on alongside ours, that there are things we may not be aware of, and I also like monsters. They’re often perfect metaphors for humans.

Do you have to do research for your books?:
I do research for fun, and then the research ends up in my books. For Sunshine, I wanted to know about allergies to the sun that I included. For the spin off book, animals are an important part of the story, and I already know a lot about animals because of my day job, so I had more of an excuse to research birds and cats.

When did you decide to become a writer?:
I don’t think I ever just “decided” to become a writer. I always wrote, but I decided to become an “author” when I sought out publishing and trying to get my work into other peoples’ hands, which was around my first year of college, over five years ago.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?:
Yes. I always try to write 500-2000 words a day.

Do you work on an outline or plot before you start writing?:
I usually don’t outline until after I have my first rough draft, and even then, there isn’t much to the outline, just some notes and important scenes I want to include/change.

What is the hardest thing about writing?:
Being alone. I usually like being alone and being in my head while I write, but sometimes it gets hard, especially when people ask me what I did all day or why I have that far off look on my face.

What is the easiest thing about writing?:
Creating. I like that there’s endless possibilities when you make up people and those peoples’ lives. They can grow or stay the same, they can make it through a situation or give up, etc. Once I have my characters laid out, I like how they take control of the story and how I can watch it unfold.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?:
About six to eight months.

Do you edit your book right after you finish or let it sit for awhile?:
I let it sit for at least a month, that way when I go back to edit, I can look at it without being so attached to everything.

Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?:
My good friend Amanda edited Sun Damage and I chose her because we met in Creative Writing, I experienced how good she was at editing, and she liked my work, so it was a no-brainer choosing her.

How are you publishing this book and why?:
I self publish because I like the control I have over everything: the promotional aspect, the cover, the blurb, all of it. There’s no one telling me what to do besides me.

How do you market your books?:
Any way I can. I do author takeovers, I send out review requests to bloggers, I ask other indie authors to help me out, hosting giveaways or contests…anything that works. I’m always open to new things.

What do you do to get book reviews?:
I look up bloggers that I like and ask them. It seems simple, and it kind of is.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?:
Do it. If you want to write you need to write. It’s not always easy, but if you keep going, you’ll end up in amazing places you never thought you would. : )

Website: nikkixrae.blogspot.com

Blog: ^^SAME^^

Facebook:
The Sunshine Series: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Sunshine-Series/125028937642434?ref=hl
Nikki Rae: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nikki-Rae/394844663902407?ref=hl

Twitter: @NikkiRaexX

Tumblr: Nikkixrae.tumblr.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Nikki-Rae/e/B00B8YR0Y6/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NikkiRae

Book Links: http://www.amazon.com/Sunshine-The-Series-Nikki-Rae-ebook/dp/B00B6T24H6/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395853375&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=sunshine+nikki+rae
http://www.amazon.com/Sun-Poisoned-The-Sunshine-Series-ebook/dp/B00DOOCY8A/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1XSZCN9ZXM5P792XJEAD

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6751095.Nikki_Rae

Stay tuned for my review of Sun Damage (the third novel, releasing March 28) in the near future! 

Author Spotlight: Samuel Tucker Young

Derek Agons Slays A Dragon

What all have you written? Include everything:
– A couple screen plays, none sold though. Also, I have written a lot of music under the moniker Timberwolf. Last but not least, I have written the Young Adult Fantasy, Derek Agons Slays A Dragon.

Where can we buy or see them?:
– The book is available to purchase in paperback form on the official website (www.officialderekagons.com) or Amazon.com. The Timberwolf album is streaming on Spotify, iTunes and Pandora.

Tell us a little bit about your main character:
– Derek is essentially me, as a kid in high school. He is obsessed with videogames, apathetic towards any school class that isn’t drama and more interested in the sky than the world around him. He’s spent most of his time arguing with his siblings and staying out of trouble. Too bad that won’t last for long with what I have in store for him!

What are you working on at the minute?:
– Writing the second book in the series, along with recording a new album.

What is it about?:
– The second book is a continuation of the series, which I definitely can’t divulge too much info on. Heck, even the title of it is a bit of a spoiler.

What genre are your books?:
Primarily Fantasy, though usually Young Adult Fantasy.

What draws you to this genre?:
Fantasy in every aspect absolutely fascinates me. The thought of a secret world hidden beneath our own, in any capacity, is thrilling in every way. From Harry Potter to Narnia to Pokemon, I walk around thininkg about all the little oddities of life and how they could easily be a doorway to something special. Even worlds that aren’t directly linked to our own intrigue me. Redwall, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Wheel of Time . . these series keep me coming back for more because of the immense amount of imagination it takes to build them. I feed on those worlds and the creative juices it took to imagine them.

Do you have to do research for your books?:
Absolutely. From names, to myths, to places and news stories, I love to keep my stories grounded in reality regardless of how fantastical they may become. I have a habit of taking everything around me, everything that I know to be finite and true, and twisting it and turning it into something magical. Researching actual facts about the world we live in just fuels my creativity.

When did you decide to become a writer?:
When I was in high school, I noticed early on how much effort it took just to pull a C+ average in Math, whereas I slept my way through English and still pulled A’s. It was then I had the thought that I should probably be a writer of some sort . .

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?:
Not at all. I just sit and write. Some days, barely a sentence comes out that I actually use. Others, three pages plop out that I never change in the slightest.

Do you work on an outline or plot before you start writing?:
Yes, always. If I’m writing, I know where I’m going. I may not know every single step along the way, but the path is set.

What is the hardest thing about writing?:
Actually writing. Sitting down, opening up the laptop and staying diligent, no matter how much of a trudge it can be, is both excruciating and exhilarating.

What is the easiest thing about writing?:
. . Actually writing. I know, it seems silly, but the truth is when I’m in the zone, I find that 4 hours just went by and I’ve been writing the entire time. This is the exhilarating part. Writing and knowing that the words are fluid is so easy and carefree. I get lost in it.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?:
Depends on how long it takes for a full outline to surface. This particular one took about 4 years, but the majority of it was written in spurts. Now that I know exactly in which direction I’m taking the series, it’ll hopefully be a year or two in-between books.

How are you publishing this book and why?:
I am self publishing the novel through Amazon and createspace. I love the artistic and creative control both outlets give you.

How do you market your books?:
Ah, the hustle. It’s emails, emails, emails, talking, talking, talking. I’ve made business cards with the book cover on one side so that I can hand someone something physical every time they seem interested.

What do you do to get book reviews?:
Same thing. Marketing and reviews go hand in hand.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?:
Write, create and never stop dreaming. Set your goals for the most unrealistic heights, the biggest dreams, and then don’t stop until you achieve it. No matter how hard or dark the road ahead is, there is and always will be a reward if you work your butt off. I firmly believe it. So seriously . . write, create and never stop dreaming.

Website: http://www.officialderekagons.com

Facebook: facebook.com/officialderekagons

Twitter: twitter.com/heistimberwolf

Book Links: http://www.amazon.com/Derek-Agons-Dragon-Samuel-Tucker/dp/0615868584/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392868804&sr=1-1&keywords=derek+agons+slays+a+dragon

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20873485-derek-agons-slays-a-dragon

Stay tuned for my review of Derek Agons Slays A Dragon in the future.

My book is LIVE. (click here)

My book is LIVE. (click here)

Book Description

Publication Date: March 15, 2014
Forced to take immediate control over her life, Wylie recounts the haunting chain of events that led to her fall from grace.
She explains how she met her modern-day knight, how she eagerly grabbed his hand to join the descent down his crime-infused rabbit hole. She delves deeper through the winding tunnel of her traumatic adolescence, hoping to rid herself of her sins.
Angry Blonde is the confession of a girl who must learn how to create love and safety from fear and hatred.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2894 KB
  • Print Length: 403 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

There it is, in all its fine glory. Yes, it released yesterday but my internet access is limited so I couldn’t update right away. Anyway, contemporary new adult fiction. A little bit of romance, a little bit of violence. If not your cup of tea, pass it along, and any feedback is appreciated. Enjoy!

My cover page is here!

And it looks amazing! I could not be more happy with it – it captures the book perfectly.

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Only TWELVE more days until the release! Now that I have the cover, I’m getting more excited than nervous. Thank goodness!

Credit: Regina at http://www.maeidesign.com. Seriously, if you’re publishing a book, she is the person to go to. She asks really good in-depth questions to get the right feel for the book and she’s super patient. 100% recommended. 

Book Review: Of Dreams and Shadow

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Title: Of Dreams and Shadow (Forget Me Not #1)
Author: D.S. McKnight
Release Date: February 3, 2014
Publisher: Stone Bay Press
Pages: 287
Format: e-book

Synopsis: We live. We die. Is there anything more? Jenna Barton is about to find out. After moving to the coastal North Carolina town of Parson’s Cove, Jenna has unwittingly stepped into the middle of a mystery involving a missing child. Unfortunately, the predator is still on the loose and Jenna has become his new obsession. With a little luck and a bit of paranormal help, Jenna might survive.

My rating:
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Characters: Main is Jenna, who moved to Parson’s Cove with her mother from North Carolina. At first, she is lonely and bitter about leaving her friends, but then she starts making new ones and blending in. Then there is Chase, her next door neighbor and classmate, who seems to hate Jenna on the spot. When Chase was younger, he saw a little girl, Sarah, that lived in the house before Jenna vanish. But it turns out, Sarah was taken by a mysterious evil shadow who’s been around since the 1800’s. Jenna is your average teenage girl and other than her strong bond with her mother, I didn’t find anything remarkable about her, but she was developed enough to push the story along. Chase seems torn between love and hate for his new neighbor, so his behavior is kind of erratic for most of the novel.
Plot: Jenna’s new life is going smoothly until she finds an old, sparkling necklace in her backyard. Then she begins having terrible nightmares and visitations from a teenage girl, who she later finds out is Sarah. Sarah is still under the dark shadow, which is the spirit of an angry murderer named Silas. But Sarah wants to destroy Silas, so together, she, Chase, and Jenna come up with a plan to bury him permanently.
Writing: Although Jenna is the main character, the novel takes on the point of view of some of the other characters, including Chase and Silas. Since Silas has been around for a couple of hundred years, his thoughts and words are in Old English. McKnight nails this beautifully. She also portrays the modern-day teenagers in a realistic way. The story is captivating and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Although I think the ending happened a little too fast, the sequence of events flowed nicely. I would recommend Of Dreams and Shadow to all lovers of young adult, since it appeals to both paranormal and contemporary fans.

Book Review: The Falling of Love

The Falling of Love (Falling, #1)

Synopsis: Grace Hathaway is no stranger to tragedy. At the age of ten Grace tragically lost both her parents in a boating accident, leaving her older brother James to take over the task of raising his two younger sisters. Grace tries to lead the life of a normal teenager, but assumes some of the responsibility of caring for her younger sister Michelle and taking care of her parent’s home. Grace is a talented aspiring artist mature beyond her years. Her world is turned upside down the day that Ian Taylor, misfit-rocker-rebel, clanks his way into her mathematics class. At first sight, Grace is taken by Ian’s alluring nature. The two fall deeply in love with each other quickly. After learning of Ian’s troubled family life James allows Ian to move into the Hathaway home. A dramatic turn of events sends Ian and Grace on the road to Los Angeles, CA where Ian pursues his dream of becoming a rock star. New challenges present themselves to Grace as Ian dives head first into the lifestyle of an LA rocker. Forced to grow up all too quickly, Grace is now faced with heart wrenching circumstances that change her life forever.
The Falling of Love is the first novel in a series of novels that will follow Grace Hathaway’s life and personal struggles. Everyone has a beginning to their story and an end…
This is the beginning of Grace’s story.

My rating:
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Characters: Grace and Ian are the two main characters, high-schoolers that fall completely head over heels for each other. At first, Ian puts up a surly front but knocks it down for Grace much faster than I expected. Grace is a sweet and responsible girl but oddly sexually experienced considering she was a virgin in the beginning of the novel. Other characters include Grace’s siblings, Melissa and James, and Ian’s best friend Jaden. All three of those characters are developed enough- I especially liked Melissa’s sassy attitude- but I couldn’t understand the motive behind almost any of James’s actions.
Plot: Ian and Grace meet, fall in love, and eventually move to California together after an unexpected situation arises. They are eager to leave their pasts behind, but then Ian gets a little too caught up in the rock star lifestyle. Fed up, Grace leaves and moves on with her life, but there is always a part of her that still loves Ian. He gets himself together and searches for her, but fears it may already be too late. The story is a lot like a typical young romance, but different as well since the characters had their own unique backgrounds. I found myself rooting for their love to pull through even though it may have been more toxic than good. This is the first book of a trilogy, so I’d be interested in reading what happens next.
Writing: Oldham uses great vocabulary and descriptions, but her sentence structure and grammar fall a little flat. I think if she played around a bit more with her words, the novel would have been fantastic, but unfortunately writing style can either make or break a book. The sequence of events flowed nicely and were intriguing enough for me to want to know what happens next, as well as the fate of the two lovers. I would recommend The Falling Of Love to those who enjoy young romance with a little bit of racy scenes mixed in.