Blogtour – The Seahorse Legacy (Review and Giveaway)

Blog Tour Button for The Seahorse Legacy 5-25--6-7

I’m super excited and honored to be joining the blog tour for the ebook release of “The Seahorse Legacy” by Serena Chase, which was released May 25th!

Stay tuned after my review for giveaways and other good stuff…

Seahorse Kindle Cover copy

The Seahorse Legacy

by Serena Chase

Summary: As Keeper of the Seahorse Legacy, Cazien de Pollis is a King among pirates, divinely appointed to dispense justice on the seas. Bound by the sacred oath of a long-dead ancestor, he must fulfill a contract to wed the green-eyed Oracle’s Daughter named therein — or risk losing everything he and his people hold dear. But at nineteen, with the identity of his betrothed only recently revealed, Cazien resents the contract — and the urgency within him to see it satisfied.

Erielle de Gladiel returned from the quest for the Remedy, changed. Not only are her formerly-blue eyes now a brilliant shade of green, but she must don gloves to hide inky evidence that her prophetically-bestowed title, the Oracle’s Daughter, demands more from her than the task already completed. Erielle’s dearest-held dream is realized when she is knighted by her King, but unbeknownst to her, that very honor jeopardizes the prophesied purpose to which she and Cazien have been called.

Just as Cazien summons the courage to collect his bride, dark rumors and darker deeds crawl up the coasts, calling its guardians, the Seahorse Pirates, into action — and Cazien away from Erielle. But even though the Oracle’s Daughter knows nothing of the contract to which she has been consigned, Cazien’s enemies have somehow learned of his interest in Erielle. And if they reach her before his ancestor’s weighty oath is executed, the Seahorse Legacy will be forfeited . . . and darkness will be given reign.

My Review of The Seahorse Legacy

This is the third book in the Eyes of E’veria series. The Ryn and The Remedy form the first two-book set in the series, and The Seahorse Legacy starts another set which will be continued in The Sunken Realm. I have not read the first two books — I now can’t wait to do so! — and although The Seahorse Legacy references many things from them, I found that it stood on its own quite well (though it still needs the sequel to complete it!).

First of all, this story was gripping and I didn’t want to stop reading. It’s rather long but didn’t feel like it at all. I was just so sucked into the plot, which was intriguing and well done. I felt like the stakes were well set at the very beginning, so that I understood the consequences should the protagonists fail. I was on the edge of my seat as author Serena Chase formed words into a dazzling tale before my eyes like a Veetrish storyteller. (Which you must read the book to find out about, but that whole idea is really awesome.)

The adventure, romance, suspense, humor, and well-crafted words of the writing, were as enjoyable as the interactions between the characters in the marvelous cast, and the interesting features of the land of E’veria — which I’m looking forward to visiting again and again in the other books in the series.

There were also nods, although subtle, to The Twelve Dancing Princesses and other fairytales, which as any regular reader of this blog knows, always makes me a happy reader! ❤

What really made the book for me was Cazien, the Heir of the Seahorse Pirates himself. I’m trying to keep this review coherent, but it’s tempting to abandon all hints of rational wording and merely squeal “CAZIEN!!!!!!!!!!”, accompanied by further exclamation points and more hearts and happy emoticons than would fill the sea he sails on. (I’m sure he would be very satisfied with such a reaction…) But I loved Cazien! In spite of his occasional shadiness and tendency to think too much of himself (hey, I can’t blame him, I think a lot of him too!), he was my favorite thing about the story. Cazien is a rogue and a rascal and a pirate, charming, dangerous, fun, and epic all at once, but let’s face it: he’s awesome and he knows it, and so do the readers. I’ve rarely come across a character who’s so well written — especially his lines. Every time Cazien opens his mouth, sharp wit and cleverness come out of it, so that I just want to go back and read all the parts with him over and over again. I also loved the abilities he had through his connections with the sea — that was fascinating and awesome! Cazien is definitely a favorite character!

Okay, I’m going to say it. Erielle annoyed me for much of the story. I feel like the “girl who goes around with a sword and dressed like a guy and says she’s just as good as the fellas and gets to be the first female knight” etc., has been done to death and I’m sick of it. (Maybe not the knight part, but in general.) I have no problem with the way she dresses or the fact that she fights, it’s just the big deal she makes of it and her attitude. I know lots of people enjoy what is apparently called “strong female protagonists”, so this is probably just me, but I found her to be an exasperating whiner.

I think Erielle and Cazien are cute together, though, and I can’t wait to see what will happen with them next. (Particularly what she’ll think of a certain something that happens near the end… I’m just dying to see her reaction when she realizes it!)

I have two warnings for potential readers.

1: It’s not for younger readers — under sixteen would be pushing it — due to some of the content. It’s rather grittier/more realistic than I prefer in most books, and was at times disturbing/scary.

2: It ends on a cliffhanger. It is, after all, only the first of a two-book set. The story just sort of stops. But just so you know, as soon as you read the last page of The Seahorse Legacy you’re going to be frantically checking your calendar every few minutes, tearing your hair out and wishing 2015 and the release-date of next book would just get here already! I know I am! You have been warned. 😉

I’ll just have to console myself with reading The Ryn and The Remedy, and going back through The Seahorse Legacy to read all the parts with Cazien again…

I can’t wait to read the next book, The Sunken Realm, and find out how everything will turn out!

(I received a free ebook of this book in return for my honest review. These are my own opinions.)

***

You can find The Seahorse Legacy on

Amazon

Goodreads

Author Bio:

Serena Chase lives in Iowa with her husband, two teen daughters, and one very spoiled (but really adorable) dog, Albus. A frequent contributor to USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog, she also writes for Edgy Inspirational Romance. Serena has served as a youth leader for high school students at her church, coaches her local high school’s Color Guard, and drinks entirely too much coffee between these and her daughters’ activities. Visit her on her website, serenachase.com, and find her elsewhere online at:

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Goodreads

And here are the giveaways Serena is hosting!

Be sure to enter both for a chance to win free books and pirate booty. 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grand Prize:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And as if that isn’t cool enough, the first two books in the series are also on sale right now:

limited time book sale 3-for-$6

The Ryn (Eyes of E'veria, #1)

 

The Word Changers

Here’s a review for the latest incredibly awesome book I’ve read . . .

Currently available as an ebook. Paperback release coming June 23rd!

The Word Changers

by Ashlee Willis

 Summary: Her parents’ marriage is falling apart. Fifteen-year-old Posy feels her life is falling apart with it. Posy retreats to an old library down the street, where she selects a mysterious book in a secluded corner and is magically drawn into its story.

Posy finds herself in a kingdom ruled by a cruel and manipulative king and queen who have attempted to usurp the role that belongs only to the Author of their story. The princess has fled and the kingdom is teetering toward rebellion. Posy is joined by Prince Kyran as they fight against their slavery to the Plot.

Posy and the prince search beyond the borders of the story for the runaway princess. They encounter mysterious places, horrifying monsters, and fierce battles. They make both friends and enemies as their journey leads them into many dangers. But some of the worst dangers, Posy soon finds, lie deep within her own heart. Will she be able to find the courage and forgiveness needed, not only to save the story, but to heal the heartache she knew in her own world?

My Review of The Word Changers by Ashlee Willis

I love allegorical stories when they’re done right, and The Word Changers definitely was. Fantasy and fairytales can present truths in a way that nothing else can. They help me think of things in a new light, and in fact seem to grow my faith more than any other type of fiction.

The allegory in this delightful tale was brought about by the main defining fact of the story: that it takes place in a book within a book. The characters know they are in a book, but many of them have stopped believing in their Author, even though they know they are written characters. Posy, who is not a character at all, but a girl from our own world, is thrown into the midst of this and must try to understand it all for herself. The whole idea and how it was done I found thought-provoking and beautiful.

I loved how the story took place within a book! The idea is just so awesome and was incredibly well done. The whole thing was just so unique and intriguing! As a writer myself, and an avid book lover, I loved every single second of it.

The characters were varied and interesting, and so well drawn that for a long time I wasn’t sure if several of them were good or bad, which created an angle of mystery and suspense. There was awhile there where I wasn’t even sure if anybody was good besides Posy — who was a sweet but relateable main character.

The story itself was gripping and very hard to put down. It twisted and turned and kept me guessing. The writing was a perfect fit for the story, with a lovely sort of lilt. It immersed me deeply in the world. One of my favorite things about fantasy is the fantasy world itself, and the individual feel of each. I loved this one, with its castles, forests, wild mysterious places, and the creatures that inhabit it — from talking owls to centaurs.

Also I love the blue mist. Irrationally. A lot. It was just so original and intriguing. I want a blue mist of my own. ❤

Whew, all the things I loved about this story, and I haven’t even gotten to the main one yet! Which is: Kyran! The story would have been a favorite even without him, but he added so much. Even if this had been a story I disliked, Kyran would have made me love it just by the fact that he was in it. One of my top-favorite characters, Kyran is awesome; enough said.

I only had two problems with the story. One was very minor, which was Posy’s age. Because of the romantic subplot, which was very sweet and innocent — and being the hopeless romantic that I am, I really enjoyed that part of the plot itself — but for some reason I felt like fifteen was a slightly young age for her.

The only other thing was the ending, though I’m not going to give it away. It’s the only thing that is keeping this book off the very select group of my absolute favorite-favorite-favorite books. I felt it coming by the time it came, but I still hoped against all hope that it would turn out just a little differently . . . But despite my disappointment, at least there are enough hints that I can imagine something more might happen — someday. One thing I can’t help but wonder, is… what about the book itself? I want a sequel! 🙂

If it did tear out a little part of me . . . well, such is the peril of loving a book and its world and characters so much. As Posy herself learns. But we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Bottom line: I haven’t read a book this good in a long time and highly recommend it to everyone! I just enjoyed this story way too much! ❤ I’m eagerly looking forward to more books by Ashlee Willis!

**I received an ARC ebook from the publisher in return for my honest review. These opinions are my own.**

 You can find The Word Changers on

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Goodreads

Be sure to check it out if you like Christian fiction/allegory, fantasy, or even just a rollicking good tale of adventure and love and heroes!

And find Ashlee Willis at

Her Blog

Facebook

Twitter

This author is someone to keep an eye on — I especially enjoy her blog which is full of all kinds of great things; so go check her out!

Liebsterish Questions

I’m way overdue for a Liebster Award blog post, as I’ve been given it by three people — one in March, one in April, and one back a couple Decembers ago before I even had a blog… But I’m finally going to do them!

The rules to the Liebster Award as I’ve encountered it seem to usually be along these lines:
1. Thank the person who tagged you and link back to them
2. List a number (it seems to vary) of facts about yourself
3. Answer the questions given you by your tagger
4. Give the same number of questions for the next people to answer
5. Tag that number of people (who are supposed to have less than 200 followers)
6. Inform the tagged ones that they have been nominated

Since there are so many questions, instead of listing random facts about me I’m just going to answer the questions. And I’ll try to follow the less-than 200 thing but it’s sometimes hard to know.

*proceeds to answer 32 random questions* (This may get long…)

Lisa of God’s Daughter 4 Ever tagged me, and since she didn’t give questions but answered the questions given to her and the questions given to the person before her, she said to pick 11 of the 22 questions to answer, so I have… Thank you, Lisa dear!

1. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Um. I think I’ll pick “food”. That way I have all my options covered…

2. Do you have a favorite letter?

Not really… L’s are nice. And I seem to be strangely addicted to giving characters names starting with T’s.

3. Chocolate or peanut butter?

Chocolate all the way! Or… nutella.

4. Which is your favorite hair color: pink, blue, or green?

All of those are rather unusual, and though I love the color green I’m going to have to go with blue because I think it looks the least weird as a hair color. (Or maybe I could say purple… I have a character with purple hair.)

5. Do you work well under pressure or snap?

Depends. If it’s NaNoWriMo, then an intriguing combination of the two…

6. What’s your favorite music genre/band?

Celtic music and beautiful soundtracks are my favorite genres. My favorite band is probably The Chieftains.

7. Do you like to bake?

Sometimes, when I feel like it.

8. Batman or Superman?

Batman if I have to choose between the two. But I’ll just pick Hawkeye instead.

9. What was/is your best subject in school?

Anything relating to writing and words and English and stuff. Maybe history too.

10. Do you do your own thinking or allow others to just give you the information?

I try to do my own thinking, but it is useful to have others give me information to think about…

11. What’s your favorite ink color?

Plain ol’ black. ‘Tis pretty.

***

Questions from jsleflore, who tagged me in March. Thanks so much!

1) What inspires you?

Music. Pretty pictures. Walking in the woods.

2) Sunrises or sunsets and why?

Sunsets. There’s just something about the evening drawing to a close and the pretty colors in the sky, and then the stars coming out. (That, and I don’t usually get up early enough to see the sunrise…)

3) If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?

I wouldn’t want to do that, but as far as fantasy hybrid animals go, I’ve always thought Griffins were cool.

4)  What’s the last thing you took a picture of?

Some cool looking old steps at a State Park.

5) If you could learn any language fluently what would it be and why?

Gaelic/Irish/Welsh/all the Celtic languages. Because I love Celtic things. Plus, pretty.

6) What is the name of your alter ego and why?

I’m not sure I have an alter ego…

7) Have you ever used the phrase “back in my time” to someone younger than you?

Yep. Which is humorous considering “back in my time” wasn’t so very long ago…

8) Do you have any unusual fears or phobias?

Does talking on the phone count? Because I really don’t like doing that.

9) Do you prefer to wash in the mornings or evenings?

Dunno.

10)  What’s the funniest rumor you started?

I’m not very good at rumors, humorous or otherwise…

Liebster Blog Award

A very very long time ago (seriously, we’re talking ancient history here) I was tagged by the lovely Mirriam Neal, even though I didn’t have a blog at the time. So since I do have one, since they’re such fun questions, I’m going to go ahead and do it, late though I may be. Thanks a million, Mirri!

1. Do you create playlists for your novels when you write, or do you write better without music?

Usually when I write I have inspirational music on. But sometimes I’ll find songs or tunes that go really well with a story or character I’m writing, in which case I’ll listen to those. I don’t usually make playlists for specific books, but I’ve been starting to do that more lately.

2. Is there anything you have given up in order to be able to write?

. . . My sanity? Oh, sorry, no, wrong answer. *cough* I’d say I’ve lost a lot of sleep. Staying up late, or getting up at 2 a.m. to write a scene that’s bugging me to write it. Seiously, what’s sleep when there’s a story to write?

3. What character (not your own) has moved or inspired you the most? Why?

Um . . . I have no idea how to answer this one. I can’t think of one in particular.

4. Have you ever seen a real-life version of your character walking down the street?

Sadly, no. Online very occasionally though…

5. Have you ever been inspired by something completely random and strange?

Oh yes. Random and strange things are absolutely fantastic. They are my friends.

6. Have you ever come up with a fantastic idea, only to find out that someone in the past stole it from you?

ALL. THE. TIME. But worse than finding it in the past is already having written an idea, and suddenly everyone else has it, but you *know* you had it first . . ! This happens to me more than I would like.

7. Is there one thing people tend to say all the time that you absolutely hate?

I can’t think of anything like that right now . . . and I’m wondering if that is a bad thing or not. *laughs*

8. Is there a Tumblr you go to for inspiration?

Nope. I’ve never understood Tumblr. There are several friend’s Pinterests however that are highly inspirational…

9. What does your writing space look like?

I started by describing it, but . . . a picture’s worth a thousand words. So here’s a glimpse of it.

writingspace
10. Do you have a ‘routine’ for writing?

In general, I almost always have to have an outline before I write something. When I’m ready to do some writing, I tend to turn on my music and close my door, shutting myself into the world of my story, and generally hope to have at least an hour of uninterrupted writing time (probably why I don’t write as often as I should). Sometimes I act the scene out a bit or reimagine it in my head. And occasionally I find inspiration by sitting outside to write. If “routine” is supposed to mean “habit or particular time I write”, I’m afraid I don’t have those… Which I need to change.

11. Have you ever been struck with creative lightning at an inappropriate time?

YES. The middle of the night is the most common . . . I have fortunately taken to always having something around to take notes on. Seriously, ideas, pick some better times, won’t you? (But really, I don’t care. Inspiration, you may strike whenever you wish. I’ll be here waiting . . .)

***

And now to pass it along.

11 Questions for the Tagged Ones:

1. Do you name your electronics?

2. What color is your hair?

3. Do you prefer libraries or bookstores?

4. At this moment, if you could magically have any kind of food (or drink) what would you wish for?

5. If you had to pick between never drinking tea or coffee again, which would you choose?

6. Who is your latest favorite character that you’ve “met” and why?

7. Do you own multiple unused journals/notebooks and if so how many?

8. In your writing, are you a plotter or a pantser?

9. What’s your favorite genre?

10. Favorite theme song from TV or movie?

11. Happy endings? Tragic? Bittersweet?

I Tag:

Hmm… Since I just did the Sunflower tag recently, I’m going to try to tag other people. This might be hard…

Lauriloth

Samscham

Pepper Darcy

Miss Melody Muffin

Morgan or Rachel (or both) at Of Kings and Cabbages

Matt

Mikayla

Emily

Reagan

Sarah Holman

Sarah Leilani Sunblade

If you do it, be sure to link back here or come back and comment to say you did, so I can read your answers!

Readers, be sure to check out their blogs because they’re awesome. 🙂

In My Own Little World

Greetings, earthlings! (And… non-earthlings welcome too I suppose, if there happen to be any around…)

I return from my unannounced blog hiatus! *trumpet fanfare*

Camp NaNo wore me out and I had several life things to catch up on, so my poor bloggy fell silent… But now I’m back, and haven’t done an update on general stuff, so I think I will do that!

Updates!

Here are a few of the things I’ve been doing in the last couple weeks…

Blog: You may notice I’ve been doing a bit of tweaking to the blog… I updated some stuff in the side bar and stuff and updated the about and story pages and so on, so look around if you like. 🙂 I’ve also *ahem* been having a ton of fun making new graphics…

Blog Button

Blog Button

Playing with Pictures: The updated header etc. is due to my latest online obsession: Pixlr. A good friend told me about it some time ago and ever since I’ve been addicted to it. I’ve never done much more than very simple photo things because it’s never been important enough to me to bother buying something like photoshop. But this is free and easy to use and I must say I’ve been enjoying it immensely! Especially making book covers… So much fun!

Camp NaNo: I won! 10 thousand words in a month may sound low to most of y’all prolific writers out there (who I admire greatly from a distance) but I hadn’t done much writing at all this year until now so I was very pleased to make some headway on a some stories. I got nearly a chapter of The Invisible Mask done, and got well on my way into Snowfall at Kedran’s Wood, which I’m super excited about! I think I’ll probably write another scene or two and then take a break to try to figure out the crazy plot that’s all over the place and needs to be sorted before I go much further…

AprilCamp14

April 2014 Camp NaNo stats

Other than that, I’ve been doing miscellaneous other things including:

  • Enjoying the rain and cool weather. And, alternately, roasting in the heat. (Our weather keeps doing weird things…)
  • Eating cream cheese on crackers, my latest food obsession.
  • Going to a few writer meetings, which are always fun.
  • Reorganizing my bookshelves – I do that a lot, don’t I?
  • Discovering the wonders of perusing the story boards of friends on pinterest. All the pretty!
  • Brainstorming fairy tale retelling ideas for stories!
  • Which has also led to no longer being sure what I’ll write for this NaNo. Now I have three different ideas fighting each other in my brain over which one gets to be written…
  • And going out walking and taking pictures:

Thistles

That’s about it.

I have a few blog post ideas simmering in the back of my brain, including a long forgotten batch of Liebster award answers that I need to get to, and some general thoughts on writerly things that various blog posts have gotten me thinking about.

So hopefully you shall hear from me again, and soonish!

In the meantime, I’ll try to get back to doing writerly things. But I’m afraid that when all’s said and done, especially as far as sticking with one story and then getting distracted by a shiny new idea… this is me: