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Cover Reveal- Hunter by Renee Donne

Hunter cover reveal banner

Anaiah Press is proud to present the cover reveal for YA novel HUNTER by Renee Donne.

Moving across the country isn’t Hunter’s ideal start to her Junior year of high school. She has no friends to hang out with, no beaches to lounge on, and she’s living just a few miles from the secluded hiking trail where her father died when she was a baby.

Living in Wyoming isn’t all bad, though, thanks to Logan, the handsome veterinary assistant at the animal clinic where she lands an after school job. And he seems just as interested in her as she is in him.

As Hunter begins to settle into her new home, she learns more about the circumstances surrounding her father’s tragic death, and it may not have been the accident everyone believes. Something dangerous lurks in the woods, and Hunter might be the next victim.

Release Date: November 4, 2014

And now for the cover…

Hunter cover

Add HUNTER to Goodreads!

Renee DonneAbout the Author

Renee Donne is a native Floridian with a penchant for writing books with a western theme. In her head she’s a world traveler and an amateur chef. In real life, she’s a hometown girl with an affinity for fine wine and good friends. Her favorite place to write is sitting on her veranda, overlooking the beach.

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Winter in the Soul by Jennifer Novotney

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Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX5yYhX7lwQ

Release Date: July 15, 2014

 

Giveaway:

includes 5 autographed posters and 5 keychains

Link:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d3e9353/

The Story:

In a world divided by power and greed, seventeen-year-old Lilika harbors an intense desire to return to Winter in the Soul, the place her family left to escape the darkness that was manifesting from a coldness of the soul.

When she meets Talon, their connection is evident right from the start, and together they travel through the Black Kingdom to recover Lilika’s stolen locket. And in search of an answer to the mystery behind Winter in the Soul.

Lilika holds the key to stopping the darkness from spreading. The fate of their world lies in her hands. Will she stop the Black Kingdom before its darkness overtakes them all, or will they succumb to the darkness that is spreading across the land?

 

The Quick Review:
Winter in the Soul is good story not to be judged by its cover. The cover doesn’t reveal much, but the story is a great adventure-high fantasy, with magic becoming a focal point toward the end. I really, really liked the story line, it is fresh take in the high fantasy/magic genre. The second half of the story read at way too quick a pace.

The main characters are 13-14 years old. The story feel more geared in the juvenile age range (8-12yrs) rather than the young adult genre (13-16yrs.) I think young readers just getting into high fantasy will really enjoy this book. This book hits the juvenile reading level right on the mark.

The Longer Review:

Jennifer Novotney puts a fresh take into high fantasy. The region/town naming convention is based on seasons. The magic system introduced has the potential to be beautifully simple or very complex in later books. Either or, the magic did not feel typical to previous stories I have read. I feel like Winter in the Soul is only scratching the surface on magic and this series could really “blossom” into it. Some pun intended there 🙂

The relationship between Lilika and Talon starts quick, but seems appropriate. Talon is pure chivalry. I like his character and we got to know some about him, but i want to know more and get a little more into his character. Lilika is flighty and is a doer before she is a thinker. Best way to describe her personality, is “on a whim.” She is curious and brave, and her personality shows off well start to finish. She wants to be responsible, but her actions are often misguided and create much of the adventure of the story.

The story started off with good detail and set up. Lilika is introduced and immediately finds the locket, she goes to school and does chores and we get a decent feel for her. She accompanies her father to the market in the town of Summer Harvest, about a half days carriage ride away. Talon, the other main character, is introduced at his home, an inn in summer harvest. We get some background to him and his story. Some detail aside, they get to the market for trading day and then shortly after that the story slams on the gas pedal from there till the end.

The book is 130 pages according to my e-reader. I think the story needed another 100 pages of minor details; segues and transitions and minor and background details. The second half of the story felt like an outline of the major events taking place in a bigger story. I wanted more ‘in between’ content to link things together and provide some continuity.

The first 11 of the 21 chapters were paced well and had good detail; the second half of the book is those 100 pages need to be added. Take chapters 12-13, 11 pages total, as an example. I felt like 6 major story events happened in these 11 pages, pretty much a major event every page and a half. The very end met the same speed up, where I though the culmination of the story spanned too few pages.

My other critique is there were a few inconsistencies and some unanswered questions for me on the reader end; most of these stem back to the fast pace and my want of more minor detail. An example would be how far is Winter in the Soul from Summer Harvest? The characters walk there over the course of those 11 pages, which indicates it is very close, and Lilika and Talon do not rest or eat along the way. Everyone speaks as if it is a hard place to get to, and I got the impression it was far away. The rest of my questions come with the ending chapters, so I will omit them to not to be a spoiler.

Conclusion:
I’m curious to see what towns lie past the few we were introduced in book one, since there are only 4 seasons, and three have been used. I also want to learn more about the magic. How are the protectors of the lockets bound to them, the extents of magic use in WITS, and so on?

The point is, I’m curious and want to know more. I hope there is a second book at some point, as he ending to this one suggests. Big things could happen and would be exciting to read.

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Author Bio:

Jennifer Novotney was born in Burbank, California and lived in Los Angeles for most of her life until settling in North Eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter. She attended California State University, earning a bachelors degree in journalism, and Northern Arizona University, earning a masters degree in English. After college, she spent several years writing and teaching, including at Pennsylvania State University.

Website: www.jennifernovotney.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jennovotney

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jen.novotney

Links:

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20869515-winter-in-the-soul

Anaiah Press: http://www.anaiahpress.com

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/winter-in-the-soul/id898049246?mt=11

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00LT8DMV6

B&N: STILL WAITING

Kobo:http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=Winter+in+the+Soul

iTunes: STILL WAITING

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/452937

Giveaway:

includes 5 autographed posters and 5 keychains

Link:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d3e9353/

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Interview with Claribel Ortega- Author of The Skinwalker’s Apprentice

Everyone ready to get into the mind of Claribel Ortega? I had the chance to ask her a few question after reading her debut novella, The Skinwalker’s Apprentice. This debut novella is the prologue to her upcoming Empire Witch Series.

Ortega introduces us to the pink haired upstart Emerald Kipp to our left over hear. Emerald is a great new female character who should turn out to be a great new which, but breaks the mold of today’s Hogwarts wizards.

Everyone stop by Claribel Ortega’s website. Get updates on her new series, and maybe the chance to win a signed copy to. You can also talk to Claribel on Twitter and ask her about The Skinwalker’s Apprentice yourself!

Original review here.

Lets start off with a fun question; if someone spotted you eating your favorite food while watching your favorite TV show, what would each be?

It would be pizza, for sure and I am currently watching Sherlock on Netflix and I love it!

Pick you favorite heroine from any book you have ever read, and convince us why they are the best heroine ever?

My favorite heroine is Lisbeth Salander from The Millennium Trilogy. She’s a hacker, she’s super smart, and she’s resilient. Her character goes through so much and she is able to pick herself up from devastating circumstances, and really kick butt. She has her own moral compass, which might not necessarily line up with the rest of society, but that’s what makes her so cool. She is loyal, intelligent and independent, and she’s someone you find yourself cheering for even if she also scares you just a little.

The YA genre has hundreds of possibilities, what compelled you to write a magic series?

Claribel Ortega

Author Claribel Ortega

Magic and fantasy has always fascinated me. The Hobbit, LOTR and Harry Potter as well as The Chronicles of Narnia are amongst my favorite books/series. I also really like Sci-fi and crime novels, but Emerald’s story just came to me first, and once I started writing it was like an avalanche.

Your first series is all about witches and magic, what will make The Skinwalker’s Apprentice and Empire Witch series stand out from the rest?

I think there are a few things that make it different. First, my books have strong historical roots. From the settings, to the characters, there are many aspects of the series that are inspired by real life NY residents and occurrences. For example, there is a character in book one (Emerald Kipp & The Riddle of the Timekeeper) named Henrietta Snowden. She was nicknamed The Witch of East Broadway and was a real life resident of NYC in the late 1800’s. I spent months in the NYPL researching and finding these stories which, really are magical on their own, and I made them a part of Emerald’s world and my alternate NYC.

Setting my series in the 1980’s will also help it stand out, because there is so much that has changed between teenagers then and now, and so much that really hasn’t changed. It was interesting for me to write about those similarities and to explore the differences, something as simple as not being able to text your friend to tell them where you are, it changes the dynamics of every day life.  Being able to include music, and 80’s music specifically will also be something to help the book stand out in the fantasy genre. It’s fun, and it can also be mysterious and lends itself well to fast paced action and more dramatic situations. There’s a lot of Smiths music J

Lastly, Emerald is, I hope, not your typical heroin. She has a mind of her own, but she’s also extremely flawed. She has many issues, and hang ups, but she is also confident about certain aspects of her life. She is not black and white, she is all over the place, and I think that makes her real and it makes her human. Emerald also doesn’t focus solely on a male love interest, there is love in my series, but it takes a backseat to friendship and family.

You graduated from college with a degree in journalism, was it always your goal to be an author?

Actually no it wasn’t, but not because I didn’t enjoy creative writing. It’s quite the opposite, I have always enjoyed writing poetry, short stories and lyrics, but I was always terrified of sharing it with others. As a reporter, I wrote articles about school board meetings, and community events, so the writing was structured and obviously really different from writing a fiction novel. It felt almost safe to write articles, even though there are critics for all styles of writing, what I wrote was more fact based and straight forward. People tend to get a lot more passionate when reading about witches and things that can’t really happen lol. It’s strange but true. I feel like I ran away from being a writer, I tried switching careers, but it was like a nagging thought that wouldn’t go away. Once I began forming Emerald’s story, there was no turning back. I became obsessed with the world, the characters, and the history. It’s so hard not being able to blurt out everything that happens, because it goes so much further than The Skinwalker’s Apprentice, but that’s something readers will hopefully find out for themselves.

Now some more question on your new series; how many books are you planning for The Empire Witch series?

For now three, but there I think depending on how the rest of the series unfolds, there could be more.

When did you realize that the Empire Witch series needed a prologue?

Book one is a third of the way done, and while I was writing it I realized Margo’s story needed it’s own book. She is central to the rest of the series and the story of her apprenticeship needed to be explained in depth in order for people to get a better feel for the rest of the series. It all comes together in a way people probably are not expecting at all, and I think fleshing Margo’s story out will only make it that much more enjoyable and that much ore of a “HOLY CRAP” moment for readers. At least I hope so!

If you were a witch and only able to only perform one type of spell/enchantment, what would that spell be? The magic you chose can be from your universe or another.

This is hard…hmm, I think any spell that made me invisible would really come in handy. I would say being able to fly on a broom, but I’m too much of a chicken for that.

Is the music that Emerald listens to a glimpse into your own playlist?

Some yes, some no. I also love The Smiths, but I can’t say I’ve ever listened to Echo and the Bunnymen or Siouxsie and the Banshees before researching them for the book. Emerald likes a mixture of more mainstream music (UB40, The Police) and little known bands. That being said, I listen to all of Emerald’s music now, and I love it.

When can we expect Emerald Kipp and the Riddle of the Timekeeper, the first full book, to be released?

It should be out in the fall of 2014 from Winslet Press, but I will keep you posted with a more concrete release date when the time comes!

I am already ready to read the first in the series. The Empire Witch Series will be a strong new magic series. The Skinwalker’s apprentice already had a 4.5 start rating on Goodreads!

Thanks to Claribel Ortega for taking the time to answer some questions. Check back for more reviews and interview with Ortega as well as a potential giveaway of The Skinwalker’s Apprentice, signed by Claribel!

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