Monday, July 25, 2016

Fire Sower Cover Art

Are you as excited as I am? The cover art for my upcoming book is finally finished! It's everything I hoped for and more. It was great working with Dustin Foran, and I would highly recommend him to anyone. His prices are great and his talent is vast. You can find his work at: http://cgbeat.com/dustbot3000 and http://dustbot3000.tumblr.com/



And now, for the main event!
Drumroll, please...







Monday, May 16, 2016

Book Review: BURNING GLASS by Kathryn Purdie


Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/Burning-Glass-Kathryn-Purdie/dp/0062412361/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463424188&sr=8-1&keywords=burning+glass

Amazon description:
Red Queen meets Shadow and Bone in a debut fantasy about a girl forced to use her gift for sensing—and absorbing—other people’s feelings to protect the empire from assassins. Steeped in intrigue and betrayal, Burning Glass captivates with heartrending romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s quest for redemption. 
In Riaznin, it’s considered an honor for Auraseers like Sonya—girls with a rare form of synesthesia—to serve as the emperor’s personal protector, constantly scanning for feelings of malice and bloodlust in the court. But Sonya would rather be free.
After the queen’s murder and a tragic accident, Sonya is hauled off to the palace to guard a charming yet volatile new ruler. But Sonya’s power is reckless and hard to control. She’s often carried away by the intense passion of others.
And when a growing rebellion forces Sonya to side with either the emperor who trusts her or his mysterious brother, the crown prince, Sonya realizes she may be the key to saving the empire—or its greatest threat.

My review:
4 out of 5 stars--I really liked it and would definitely read it again

I'm not entirely sure what I expected as I began this book, but I really enjoyed it. It is exceptionally written, and it paints a vivid picture of Sonya's world. From a purely technical aspect, it is refreshing to read a book that is written with such skill and finesse. And the story itself was different than other stories I have read in the past.

Sonya as a character is deeply sympathetic. Her constant exposure to emotion--both her own and that of others--make her more vulnerable than most characters. The fact that she is an Auraseer brings every emotion of every character to the forefront of the story, and it is almost draining to read at first. That sounds like a bad thing, but it isn't. Kathryn Purdie's ability to draw in a reader to the story and create empathy with the characters is extraordinary. I found myself feeling what Sonya felt, and there were times I had to set the book aside and settle my own emotions before continuing. As I progressed in the story, it became easier for me to process what I was reading, but it definitely caught me off guard at first.

The supporting characters are well-balanced, in that they are flawed but not overly so. Even the characters that are dislikeable have moments where you can really understand why they are acting the way that they are. The setting of the story is beautiful and raw, filled with the day-to-day details that I so enjoy in a book (such as foods and customs and quirks of culture). There are enough connections between our world and Sonya's world that it feels familiar, but nothing to make it feel out of place (such as modern slang in the dialogue, which is a pet peeve of mine). 

One of the things that I appreciated the most was Kathryn Purdie's ability to convey tense situations without dragging her story through the mud. I strongly believe that you can write a good story without the gratuitous or graphic use of sex or violence or language, and "Burning Glass" proves that point. There are parts in the story that are passionate and there are parts of the story that are dark and disturbing, but I never had the thought that something was unnecessary or in poor taste. For this reason, I feel that this book truly is YA fiction. I would have no problem recommending "Burning Glass" to the teenagers of my family, which is more than what I can say for a lot of books that call themselves YA.

All of this being said, I do have a critique. I felt the ending was rather abrupt and the resolutions a bit forced. I assumed that the conflicts of the book would be carried into the sequel, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Everything was wrapped up, so that the book could stand on its own if you didn't wish to read any more. And while I appreciate stand-alone books (even though I'm aware that this book is the first of a trilogy), it was still a bit jarring to come to the end.

All in all, I feel "Burning Glass" was an exceptional book and I look forward to more from Kathryn Purdie.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Personal Announcement

I am pleased to announce the birth of my third child and second son! "Lewis" and "Eliza" are so excited to have a little brother, and my husband and I are so happy that he arrived safely.

As expected, this will slow down my writing a bit. I was hoping to have my new story done by this summer, but that probably won't happen. I'm still hoping to have it done this year, though. We will have to see how everything works out. I might be able to get some writing done during those late night feedings.

I'll try to keep you all updated on how the book is coming along. Be sure to check on my Facebook page as well for news on what I'm up to!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

BLACK FRIDAY PROMOTION

Hello again!

'Tis the season for sales, yes? So I have set up a promotion where all three of my books will be available for free this Friday (November 27)! This is the first time I have had my last two books available for free, so don't miss out on the opportunity. And, please, help me to spread the word. Tell your friends and family to take a minute on Friday to download my trilogy. It's FREE! What do they have to lose?

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Good News/Bad News

Hello, my dear readers!

I know you haven't heard from me in a while, but that is because I've been working on my latest project. I'm excited about where the story is going, and I'm having a lot of fun writing it. New projects are always fun because nothing is decided yet. You get to build your world from scratch, and it leaves so much open to possibility.

I do have some news to share with you, though. You may consider it good news or bad news, depending on how you look at it.

I am expecting my third baby! We are all very excited about this new addition to our family, and we have found out that it will be a brother for "Lewis" and "Eliza" to play with. The baby will be coming with the new year.

While this is happy news, there is some bad news that comes with it.

A new baby means that there will be a delay in the release of my current project. I'm not sure how much of a delay, because I'm hoping to get as much done as possible before he is born. I was aiming for a summer release, but we will have to see how that goes. It may be fall or even winter before I can get it done.

I'll keep you all updated as I go, and I hope that you'll be patient with me throughout the process. Thank you again for all of your support! I honestly couldn't do any of this without such wonderful readers.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Q&A With My Readers

I thought it would be fun to do a little Q&A with my readers, and I asked that you send in any questions you might have. I hope that you enjoy reading over the answers I have for you!


When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
 I loved writing from a very young age, and even before I could write I loved to tell stories that I had made up. My mom wrote a series of children's books, and I'm sure that was an influence on me as a child. It wasn't until I was in high school that I considered it as a profession, though. It was around that time that I came up with the idea for "The Threshold Child" and I began to work on my writing in earnest.

Did you always plan for "The Threshold Child" to be a trilogy?
I always liked the idea of doing a trilogy with the story, but I wasn't sure that it would actually happen. After I finished writing "The Threshold Child" I went through the traditional method of trying to get it published (sending out letters and sample chapters to literary agents and publishing companies), with no success. I got discouraged and figured that it would never be worth the time to write any more of the series. It wasn't until I published with Amazon and got such a positive response that I decided to continue with the story.

What was the inspiration for the concepts in this book?
When I first began writing "The Threshold Child" it was primarily a story about a young woman who was trying to decide what she believed, which was something I was going through at the time. I worked on the book off and over over the course of nearly a decade, and it slowly evolved into what it is today.

Did it come from any religious aspects in your life?
 This probably isn't a surprise to those who have read my books, but I'm a very religious person. My beliefs color every aspect of my life, and so it is natural that it affects my writing as well. There have been comments on some of the book reviews that my writing is too preachy, but I'd rather write a story that I feel does some good to those who read it as opposed to pretending that my writing and my personal beliefs are separate from each other.

Is Adesina based on yourself? How much would you say you are like her?
 I think that she started out a lot like me, but now we are both very different. The only things that remain from her original personality when I first began writing are her desire to find her place in the world and her longing for family. The former was definitely something I felt when I began writing, and the latter (fortunately) is something I've never had to suffer through.

What would you want your Blood Weapon to be?
 Swords are always awesome, but I don't think I'm aggressive enough for a weapon like that. I think mine would probably be a bow.

Who is your favorite character from the series?
 Ravi. First of all, I've always wanted a giant cat companion (which is why there is one in the books). Second, he is wise and calm and funny and understanding. Who wouldn't want someone like that around? Third, he sings. I love music.

How did you come up with the magic system for your books? 
The original idea came from the fact that I wanted my magic users to draw their power from the world around them. So I started thinking of natural forces that could be manipulated to one's advantage. For example, the manipulation of light can create illusions and the alteration of gravity makes it so one can fly. As I wrote the magic became a bit more complex, but that's the basis of the system.

I like the idea of a dava. Do you believe in soul mates?
 In general, no. I believe that a successful relationship requires work and sacrifice and selfless concern for each other. With those things, almost any two people can be happy together (even if it's hard).

Is there anything you regret now that it's done?
 There are things in the story I would probably alter if I were writing them again, but I don't think I would go back now and do it. I can tell that my writing in "The Threshold Child" is not as skilled as my writing in "The Labyrinth of Destiny," but that is just what comes with experience.

If your books were made into a movie, who would you want to play Adesina? 
I often think about this when I'm watching movies or tv shows. It's a fun game that goes on in my head. My list of possibilities changes all the time, but my current favorite is Bonnie Wright. She's a good age for the role, and I think she'd do a good job. Past favorites have been Stephanie Leonidas, Kate McGrath, and Karen Gillan, but all of them are now too old for the part.

Why did you leave the ending as open as you did?
 I like leaving the future of the story to the imagination of the readers. That's part of what I love about reading books. When the author tries too hard to control what goes on beyond the written story, I get a little grumpy. I want to decide what happens! So, I tried to extend that to my readers.

What is your writing process?
 I usually see a scene in my head, like something out of a movie. That tends to spark the idea for a book. From there I decide what came before the scene and what happens after. Once I get a fairly good idea of what the story is about, then I begin writing. Sometimes I do an outline, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I write in order, sometimes I skip ahead to write something that I find exciting. I tend to let my mood direct my process, which means that sometimes I don't get much written in a week's time. This is a problem when I'm on a deadline. Haha!

What are some of your favorite books?
 One of my very favorite books is "Howl's Moving Castle" by Diana Wynn Jones. It's so witty and creative and visual. I always recommend that book when people ask me for suggestions. I also love "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis, "Little Women" by Louisa Alcott, "Beauty" by Robin McKinley, and "The Little Prince" by Antione de Saint-Exupery. Those are just a few, but I'm trying to be restrained. Otherwise, I'd name several dozen other books that I love.

What do you have planned for your next project?
 I'm working on a story about a boy (soon to be a man) who is given a magical partisan. He then has to learn to use it and to become the warrior that he feels he needs to be. It's a fun project for me because it's different from what I've written before. The partisan is sentient, and rather stubborn and surly. I'm having a good time writing about the struggles of the boy as he tries to master the willful weapon. I hope to have it finished by next summer, but we'll see if my children cooperate.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Upcoming Q&A

I will be doing a Q&A here on my blog within the next few weeks. If you have any questions that you'd like to ask me (about my books, about being a writer, whatever) then this is your chance to have them answered! Send me a private message on my Facebook page or email me (kanno.callie@gmail.com) and I will post the answers here on my blog.