Upon Review: Phoenix Feather by Angela Wallace

November 12th, 2013

I love to curl up with a nice, steaming cup of tea and a free book to review. In fact I subscribe to three book review sites: Book CrashBook Rooster and The Bookplex just so I can indulge in my favorite leisure activity. What’s even better is when an author contacts me for a review. If you’re an author looking for someone to review your book or short story, check out my Request a Review page.

Because I like to share the great reads I’ve found (and warn readers of the not-so-great finds), I developed a system:

  • One cup — worse than a cup of luke warm black pekoe
  • Two cups — it may be hot, but you’ll need plenty of sweetener just to tolerate it
  • Three cups — it’s not my favorite, but it beats going without
  • Four cups — nice and hot and only needs a smidge of sweetener to be perfect
  • Five cups — loose leaf vanilla Earl Grey, yummy

Sometimes a book or story doesn’t warrant a five cup rating, but it’s so good it can’t be missed. For those I include the “Must Read” starburst in front of the cup rating. You’ll find my cup rating above the picture of the cover. Enjoy!

Phoenix Feather by Angela Wallace

Four Cup

 

 

 Here is the description that caught my attention:

Aidan Quinn is not entirely human. Every hundred years, she bursts into flame and is reborn from the ashes. Now she’s a grad student in Seattle, weary of these repetitious life cycles and grieving a lost love.

An obsession is born. Detective Bryan McCain is trying to solve the serial murders of young women with red hair. When his brother, Trent, starts dating a potential victim, Bryan has to pour everything he has into catching the killer, without losing himself in the process.

Aidan’s heart has been broken many times, but she just might have a little left for dashing fireman Trent McCain. Little does she know, the killer is on the hunt for a phoenix, and he’s getting closer.

The Good…

This was quite possibly Angela Wallace’s best book yet. I loved the murder mystery parts. Her use of details concerning how an investigation proceeds, as well as what happens in a fire department, showed a mastery of balance between the amount of research done and what actually gets used in the story.

I also enjoyed the way she treated the characters’ feelings regarding Chris’s illness. It was an honest view of different people’s reaction to a loved one living with stage four cancer. Many scenes brought me to tears, and, as I’ve said in other reviews, that is difficult to do.

Not only did she treat each character with dignity and fashion them into believable people, she gave us an ending full of surprises and unexpected twists that is very satisfying.

The Not-so-good…

While the characters and situations were as believable as any writer can create, I was a bit disappointed that the mystery almost completely disappears near the middle of the book. I would have liked more tension brought out with reminders that there is a serial killer on the loose throughout the entire story, instead of just at the beginning and near the end.

The book meandered into romance genre territory more than I prefer about one-third of the way into the story. However, by the two-thirds mark, the mystery was back in full swing and continued to rivet me through the rest of the pages.

The Overall…

I think Phoenix Feather would appeal to mystery lovers and romance readers alike and I would highly recommend it. You can find it on Amazone, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

Dreamsnatcher Cover Reveal

October 30th, 2013

I’m so excited to be in on the cover reveal for one of my favorite authors. Here it is, the long awaited sequel to Dreamwalker and Dreamstealer:

Dreamsnatcher Cover Reveal

Falling asleep has never been so dangerous…

Lexa has spent the past five years training the princess of Teltania in dreamwalking, but with Taryn’s eighteenth birthday approaching, the girl has increasing royal duties and Lexa is getting ready to retire yet again. This time she’s looking forward to settling down and sailing with Sir Neil Duram—until his ship barely survives a raider attack. The raiders have been hounding Teltania’s coast and their victims are falling into comas. With Neil’s crew at risk, Lexa sets out to find a cure. But things aren’t what they seem. She discovers that the comatose have been snatched from their dreams and stolen into the dreamscape. The scattered cases soon become a potential plague, and Lexa has to find the connection between the waking world raiders and the dream snatchers. Is there a third dreamwalker out there, or something much more sinister? Lexa’s desperate search for answers will drive her to the edge in order to save everything she cares about.

DREAMSNATCHER: COMING NOVEMBER 13 2013

Add the book on Goodreads

Read more on the Dreamwalker Saga

 Angela author pic thumbnailAngela Wallace loves gun-toting good boys and could have been a cop in another life except for the unfortunate condition of real blood making her queasy. Good thing writing gun and sword fights isn’t a problem. In her books you’ll find the power of love, magic, and redemption.   Subscribe to her newsletter and get an exclusive surprise when the book releases. Follow on Twitter @AngelaRWallace Facebook Website: angelawallace.wordpress.com

Interview With Angela Wallace

October 20th, 2012

As some of you may know, I’m a big fan of Angela Wallace. In fact I’ve been reading her latest release Earth Tones (Elemental Magic) (out TODAY!) and I have a hard time putting it down to do those daily things we all have to do — like laundry, take care of kids, you know the stuff.

Anyway, I caught up with this fabulous author and asked her to stop by for an interview during her blog tour of Earth Tones. Be sure to check out the book trailer for Earth Tones (Elemental Magic) at the end of the interview.

***

Thank you for kicking off this book tour with me, Virginia! I’m super excited to be here.

What’s your favorite stage when producing a book? At the moment, editing. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so the first draft can be very frustrating. For the story I’m working on now, I’m forcing myself to whip through the first draft without going back at all to change things. I made a to-do list for that instead. So my favorite stage is when I finally get to go back, expand on details, add vivid description, and polish the language.

What do you like about self-publishing? I like keeping control over my story. (Yes, I’m a control freak.) I also like working at my own pace. I can be a drill sergeant on myself, but am well aware that “life happens.” It’s easier to give myself permission to be flexible than it is to ask for it from someone else.

Plotter or Pantser? Plotter. I tried pantsing recently, just for the challenge, and I got 13k in before I stalled out. I write faster when I know where I’m going. What happens while I’m there, however, is definitely open for surprises.

Tell us about the main character in Earth Tones. Nita Young is an earth elemental. She lives in Yakutat, Alaska where she works as the town’s veterinarian. Her elemental responsibilities include taking care of the animals and land. She has two Husky dogs, Puck and Lakota, and enjoys pottery in her spare time. She could use her earth wielding to make sculptures, but prefers to use the wheel and tools. As she would say, “otherwise it’s just elemental magic, not art.”

What piece of mythology did you use this time? Since Nita is Native American, I wanted to play with a Native American tradition. I also knew I wanted it to be some kind of cat. After lots of searching, I found the mishupishu, or underwater panther. I used a lot from the legend, such as its scales, spiked tail, and horns, though took a little creative liberty modifying them. I hope you find it deliciously monstrous.

Will there be books with air and fire elementals? Definitely. I already know who the characters are, and I hope to introduce the air elemental in Nita’s next book before she gets her own story in #5. I have vague ideas for plots, but plan for each element to get two books.

We’re all supposed to be eating healthy, but what naughty treat tempts you the most? You know, I’ve made so many diet changes recently and all forms of sugar have been one of the things to go. Still, I hope to one day be able to eat a gluten-free maple cookie again.

 What is the geekiest thing about you? I know how to write Tengwar—Tolkien’s Elvish runes. I used to exchange letters with a friend in high school written in them. It also makes a very handy code to keep passwords in.

If you could be an elemental, which one would you choose and why? Earth. According to personality tests, I fall between earth and water, but I’d want earth powers. I’ve developed a love of having certain plants in my room, but they always die. If I had earth magic, problem solved.

Everyone seems to complain when their favorite book is made into a movie or mini series. What is your favorite movie based on a book? I actually love comparing books with their movie adaptations. Even as a kid, I sat down to watch the Wizard of Oz with the book open in my lap. While I agree some movies or mini series don’t do the book justice, I loved the Lord of the Rings movies.

What’s your favorite sweet food? Peanut butter chip cookies. The best part is I haven’t had to give them up with my new diet; I use almond flour and they still come out great!

 If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why? A. W. Tozer, author of The Pursuit of God. I love his book so much (I read it over and over), and I imagine it would be an extraordinary conversation.

 ***

When a series of wild animal attacks strike the inhabitants of Yakutat, Nita has to put her romantic plans on hold. Mangled bodies are turning up, and a mysterious black panther has been spotted in the woods. Fur, scales, and a venomous bite suggest the cat is supernatural in origin—and evidence indicates that someone not only summoned it, but is using it to target those Nita cares about. It’s the perfect murder weapon: no fingerprints, no evidence. And in a town this small, the killer is someone she knows.

Nita’s strength will be put to the test as she faces losing her friends, her town, and the man she loves.

Available on Amazon (Link: http://amzn.to/SowGlS)

***

 Angela Wallace, author

Angela Wallace loves gun-toting good boys and could have been a cop in another life except for the unfortunate condition of real blood making her queasy. Good thing writing gun and sword fights isn’t a problem. In her books you’ll find the power of love, magic, and redemption.

Blog: http://angelawallace.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Angela-Wallace-Author/232511253453440
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AngelaRWallace

Taking a Break

October 10th, 2012

Once again I find myself wondering what to do with this blog. I’ve done quite a few posts on writing related subjects. I’ve written a few things on family life and our personal spirituality. I was posting a weekly Wordless Wednesday post for awhile. About once a month I post a book review.

Nothing has really sparked for me… at least not yet.

To continue doing anything for an extended period of time, one must have a passion for it or it becomes so much drudgery. When something becomes “just another job to do” then your clients (in this case readers) can tell.

I must apologize to you all because this seems to have become the case with this blog. I’m still looking for my way in the blogosphere, which means finding not only something worthy of your time, but also finding a balance between spending time here and spending time writing my next book.

(By the way, the official release date of Apprentice Cat is Oct. 29.)

Having said that, let me assure you that I’m not abandoning my blog. I am, however, going to be rather sporadic in my posts for a while. Here’s my plan for the rest of the year:

  • October — I will be updating everyone on Apprentice Cat, as well as sharing a fantastic interview with author Angela Wallace whose new release, Earth Tones, will be out later this month.
  • November — I’ll be in the writer’s cave participating in National Novel Writing Month, but I plan to have at least one book review to post.
  • December — I hope to have a new direction for this blog and I’ll let you all know what new adventure we’ll be taking then.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy each new post even if it’s not on a consistent schedule, and remember, life doesn’t have to be a chore if you find your passion.

Earth Tones by Angela Wallace: Cover Reveal

September 12th, 2012

Cover design by Tara at FantasiaFrog Designs: http://fantasiafrogdesigns.wordpress.com/

Earth Tones, Elemental Magic Book Three by Angela Wallace

Nita Young doesn’t know if she has a future with college sweetheart Keenan Donovan—two star-crossed lovers of opposing elements—but she invites him up to Alaska to see if Earth and Water can rekindle their old flame.

When a series of wild animal attacks strike the inhabitants of Yakutat, Nita has to put her romantic plans on hold. Mangled bodies are turning up, and a mysterious black panther has been spotted in the woods. Fur, scales, and a venomous bite suggest the cat is supernatural in origin—and evidence indicates that someone not only summoned it, but is using it to target those Nita cares about. It’s the perfect murder weapon: no fingerprints, no evidence. And in a town this small, the killer is someone she knows.

Nita’s strength will be put to the test as she faces losing her friends, her town, and the man she loves.

Add the book on Goodreads.

Release date for Earth Tones is October 20th

Angela’s bio and links to connect:

Angela Wallace has been penning adventures ever since she was sucked through a magical portal as a child. What she saw and whom she met gave birth to exciting and complex fantasy worlds where defying the laws of physics was a bonus. She has since come back down to earth, only to discover this mortal realm has magic of its own. Now she is quite at home in the world of urban fantasy, though believes that love, faith, and hope are of a stronger magic than fire wielding and sorcery. She loves gun-toting good boys, and could have been a cop in another life except real blood makes her queasy. She’ll have to stick to solving supernatural mysteries. Language is her pleasure, whether it’s weaving words on a page or lassoing linguistics into translations as a sign language interpreter. Angela is currently working on her next book.
Blog: http://angelawallace.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Angela-Wallace-Author/232511253453440
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AngelaRWallace
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The Guardian by Angela Wallace

September 28th, 2011

Welcome to Spirit Wednesday where we take a look at all things spiritual from meditation to prayer to cleaning the house. Yes, even house work can be a spiritual experience… if you choose to see it that way.

Animals can be amazing. Just when we think we understand our beloved pet, it does something unexpected — sometimes even miraculous — that makes us reevaluate the animal world altogether.

Today I’m “reprinting” with permission a story by Angela Wallace about her guardian cat Ashley, which appeared in I Love Cats magazine in 2006.

The Guardian
by Angela Wallace

The Guardian by Angela WallaceMom awoke in the middle of the night to an unfamiliar noise: a loud meowing.  Until that moment, my longhaired cat, Ashley, had never made a sound—not a howl, not a hiss, not a mewl. We had assumed she was mute.

That night, however, my mother found Ashley pacing and yowling in the hallway.  My mom knew cats were smart–there had to be some reason silent Ashley was suddenly crying.  Worried, Mom came into my room where the cat usually slept.   She found me, her diabetic daughter, suffering from a severe drop in blood sugar, too weak to call for help.  Had Mom not checked on me, I might have had a seizure, slipped into a coma, or died.

I found Ashley through an ad in the Mercury News; a family had taken in a cat, not knowing it was pregnant.  Ashley was the shyest of the three kittens needing a home. I felt drawn to her, being shy myself.  Her fur was beautifully brindled: ash gray, wood tan, and cloud white.

Ashley loved freshly baked bread.  The sound of the can-opener didn’t do a thing for her, but the sweet aroma of bread in the bread machine did. Ashley was also the only cat I’ve ever seen who liked to play with water.  We couldn’t convince her that her water dish was strictly for drinking.  Spritzing her only encouraged these shenanigans.The Guardian by Angela Wallace

Ashley never used her voice for herself—even when she was stepped on or accidentally locked in a closet—but she was my voice on multiple nights when my blood sugar dropped to dangerous levels, and I was either too weak to call out or too deep in sleep to wake.  She was an ordinary house cat, napping on pillows, lounging on the windowsill, and chasing flies through the house.  Nobody knew about her nighttime heroics unless I told them, and nobody will ever convince me that cats are useless, lazy pets.

In 2004, Ashley took her turn to fall asleep and didn’t wake up.  I still miss her, but my family will always remember her as the heroine who saved my life several times.  She was more than just a house pet, more than a child’s best friend.  Ashley was my guardian angel.


When have you experienced ordinary animals doing something extraordinary?

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Prayer can be as complex as we want or as simple as we need, but sometimes we need a little help getting started. In Simply Prayer you’ll discover the basics of: what prayer is, why we pray, how to pray, and how to know your prayers are answered. If you’re looking for ideas and examples on simple ways to pray you can find them in Simply Prayer, available in print, for KindleNook and audio book.