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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Calling all authors & publishers!

If any author or publisher would like to donate a book or prize for a big contest coming up in August here on The Book Vault, please drop me an email: All donations will be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Severed Ties by Kevin Krohn

All her life, Nyne has been training in the martial arts and dealing with weapons. Ever since her mother died when Nyne was two when their house went up in flames, she and her father have moved around a lot to avoid the reason why their peaceful life was shattered in the first place—the Stanfield’s. The reason why Nyne believes the Stanfield’s are after her and her father is that her father had blown a huge corporate cover-up, and that Roger Stanfield, the VP of Rytax Pharmaceuticals, did not want this potentially reputation-destroying information to get out, so he tried to get rid of Nyne and her family.

That was years ago, and Nyne is now a freshman in college and she’s out for revenge. Her father has sent her on mission after mission to go pick off the Stanfield’s, one at a time. Fueled by her thirst for revenge, Nyne becomes a skilled killer. But even as she getting her vengeance, Nyne cannot help but wonder what a regular life with family and friends instead of constant fight and flight would have been like. Nyne and her father constantly move around and lay low for the most part, unable to put down roots and constantly making up lies to keep their cover. But with most of the Stanfield’s eliminated, Nyne is hoping that she can start her life over and try to live a normal life with her father once she finishes the job. After all, there will be no more power-hungry corporate workers to run from, but can Nyne really live a normal life? Can she deal with all those deaths on her conscience? How normal can her life really be, after knowing nothing but lies, death, and violence all her life?

On the final stretch before she can attempt to live a normal life, Nyne starts to question why she is doing all this, and if it is the right thing to do. Is there more to her past than her father has told her?—Is it actually more complex and deep than the simple story her father has had her believe? Will she falter, or can she get the job done and eliminate all the Stanfield’s once and for all? Is revenge really the right path to be taking? But she’s already gone to far to turn back—but what if she was taking the wrong path in the first place? One move could blow her cover, but one move could also change all her beliefs, and jeopardize everything she’s ever known and believed in…

Author Kevin Krohn does a fantastic job of hooking readers in. The action-packed start will compel readers to continue to read this thrilling novel! Although some of seemed a little far-fetched (or at least it seemed that some things came too easily for Nyne), Severed Ties is and undoubtedly an action-packed, suspenseful novel that will keep you guessing and hungry for more! Surprises and twists and turns will keep you reading until the very end of this well-paced adventure!
A job well done for the cover as well—it’s thought-provoking, leaves a lot to the imagination, and it really drew me in, wondering what the book would be about!
Overall, Severed Ties was a great novel dealing with revenge, decisions and consequences, the meaning of family, and growth. I can’t wait for Volume II!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Far World winner & Interview with J. Scott Savage!

First off, thanks to everyone who entered the Far World: Water Keep giveaway!
Without further ado, I present the winner, Kayla!

Sorry about the hat picking & photo-taking quality for this contest; I was away for most of the weekend, so time was limited since I wanted to have the winner up asap!
But anyway, Kayla, please email me your address ( so I can have your prize sent out! Congrats!
And my Francey giveaway has started for anyone interested! You're all more than welcome to enter! :D

And now onto my fun interview with the wonderful J. Scott Savage!

1) Where did you get your inspiration to create Earth’s sister world, Far World, and all the new creatures and characters that live there?
I’ve always loved the concept of “sister worlds” as you so aptly describe them. What is the relationship between these two worlds? Why the link? You get some hints but you don’t really know too much. As far as the creatures, I don’t have a problem with fantasy novels that feature the “typical” elves, dwarves, fairies, etc. But I wanted enough unique creatures that you feel like you are exploring an unknown world, not just a “fantasy” world. I was somewhat limited by page count in Water Keep, so I couldn’t really explore the world as much as I can in future books.

2) Who was your favorite character to write about?
It’s funny that most people focus on Marcus, and I like him a lot. But I think there’s some real depth to Kyja that we have to explore in future books.

3) How’d you come up with the name “Kyja?” Did you just make her name up at the top of you head or is there some etymology or symbolism behind her name?
Actually my wife came up with Kyja. It just sounded right. I told her that I was looking for a name that was not a common Earth name, but that wouldn’t be too hard to pronounce since she will be mentioned so much. Lot ’s of other names in the books have symbolism or deeper meaning, but I just liked the sound of Marcus and Kyja.

4) Which character would you least want to be, if you had to spend a day as any of your characters?
Probably Riph Raph. I like him. He has attitude and gets kind of snarky at times, which is cool. But I just don’t see myself as him. I’d like to be Cascade for a day to see the world through his eyes.

5) Would you rather live on Far World or on Earth?
I think one reason people write and read fantasy is because we want to explore new worlds. Unfortunately most of Earth has been explored. So I have to say Farworld.

6) How many books will there be in your Far World series and when does the next one come out (I’m already dying to read it!)?
Five books total. At this point it looks like they will all be fall releases. I’m so excited about book two. It has some incredible stuff in it. The feel reminds me a lot of Harry Potter book four, which was my favorite.

7) If you could visit any place that was real, where would you like to go and why? Which fantasy/non-existent place?
I really want to go visit some South American ruins. You know the whole Indiana Jones, rain forest kind of thing. I’ve only been in one rain forest and I loved it! New Zealand would be fun too. As far as fantasy, it would be a toss up between Hogwarts and the Shire.

8) What where some of your favorite books and genres from your childhood?
I was (and still am) a real bookcoholic. I used to cut school to go to the library. Weird kid huh? But I read everything. Fantasy, horror, non-fiction. Everything from Peter Straub to Judy Blume. I used to pick books at random just so I could read them without having any idea what I was getting into.

9) Where is your favorite place to write?
I love writing in the library. It feels like I’m soaking up all the story ideas.

10) Do you listen to music when you write?
I do when I am editing. Lots of 70s and 80s classic rock. But when I am writing I really need to get lost in my story. Occasionally I’ll play some theme music. My bad guy music was AC/DC. Kyja and Marcus got a lot of Aerosmith and Led Zepplin.

11) How’s the pond (and your fish) doing?
It wasn’t a good year for the fish in the pond. We had some fatalities.

And now onto the “3” questions!
1) 3 must have books if you were stranded on a deserted island?
LOTR (it comes in one book right?)
Bag of Bones by Stephen King (Just because I love the writing in that book.)
And probably something like “How to Survive on a Deserted Island For Dummies”

2) Which three words would you use to describe yourself?
(My ten-year-old suggested stupid. Grr.) My wife offered eclectic.)
How about lucky, quirky, and happy.

3) 3 favorite ice cream flavors?
Mint chocolate chip, rocky road, and Berry Berry .

4) 3 favorite books of all time?
So as not to confuse the island question, let’s go with:

The Talisman
Lord Foul’s Bane
Ender’s Game

(Does it make me a total loser that I didn’t choose anything classical?)

Back to normal questions!:
1) Any advice to aspiring writers?
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t get published.

2) Any advice for life in general?
If you want anything bad enough there is almost always a way to accomplish it.

And a random one to round it all off:
Hamburger or hot dog?
Ohhh, that may be the toughest of all questions. I’m going to have to go with a New York hot dog, covered with onions, mustard, celery salt, and a big slice of dill pickle.

My thanks to Mr. Savage! Don't forget to keep an eye out for Far World: Water Keep when it hits book stores in September!!

Other giveaways!

Looking for more chances to win some great books?
Here are a couple of good places to look!

Go here for a chance to win Stephenie Meyer's The Host!

Check out The Story Siren's mega Twilight contest!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Francey giveaway!

Here's the latest giveaway here at the Book Vault!
The author of Francey, Martin Dubow, has kindly donated a copy of Francey for a giveaway!
Check out my review for Francey here, and my interview with Mr. Dubow here!

All you have to do is send me an email at
- Your name
- Your site URL (if you have one)
- Put FRANCEY GIVEAWAY in the subject line
- and the answer to this question: Who is Johnny Falstaff's, CEO of Falstaff Architectural Firm in New York City, lead architect?

To find the answer to the question, visit: and read the prologue for Francey.

If you post about this giveaway, please tell me in your email so I can give you 2 extra entries!

You have until July 31st (midnight, EST) to enter!

Sorry, this giveaway is only open to US residents. And please send me an e-mail to enter; commenting on this post does not count as an entry!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Announcement & Book Trailer

Thanks to everyone who entered the Far World giveaway. (It is still open & I've extended the deadline until midnight, this Saturday, EST)
Since I'll be away this weekend, I'll be announcing the winner on 7/21/08.

& check out this great book trailer for The Debs!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Debs by Susan McBride

Three BFFs, Laura Bell, Michelle “Mac” Mackenzie, and Ginger Fore live in Houston, TX, and with senior year of High School coming up, so is debutante season! These three girls live it up with their wealthy parents and can hardly wait for the elite invitations to debut into the exclusive Glass Slipper Club. If they’re invited, they’ll be “Rosebuds” until they official debut. All the Rosebuds will gather functions to get to know each other and prepare for their big debut where their fathers will present them and they’ll wear gorgeous white gowns and have escorts!

But the three ladies aren’t the only ones waiting for the special invitation—the Queen of Mean, Jo Lynn Bidwill, is also expecting and invitation. Expecting, because her mother is head of the selection committee. Jo Lynn and her two witless cronies want to be part of this long-standing tradition and all the glory that comes with it, and they’re willing to play dirty to put the others out of contention.

Laura Bell is a size fourteen, but she’s not too bothered with it—I mean, why would she be? She’s still snagging hot boys! Mac is the boyish one out of the three, but will probably follow her mother’s footsteps and wishes and debut, if she gets an invitation. Her father’s new trophy wife (as Mac refers to her as) whom he married because Mac’s mother died, is extremely enthusiastic and wants to, much to Mac’s horror, beautify Mac to perfection for her debut. Ginger hopes to don her grandmother’s gown for her debut and continue the legacy but for any of these three amigas to achieve any of this, they must first keep a clean slate and receive one of those coveted hand delivered invitations.

Jo Lynn Bidwill is a nasty piece of work. She throws booze-filled bashes and is all too happy to spread rumors and ruin anyone that poses a threat to her. She detests Laura Bell and her not-size-two body—and the fact that her ex-boyfriend got together with Laura. This sinister witch wants Laura out of the running and will sink to new lows to kick her out. But this former pageant queen may have a more tainted and smudged past than anyone would have known—will that past come back to haunt her? And why does her hot boyfriend keep running out on her?

The girls have it all, from the money, the fabulous cars, and the mansions to the boy issues, cat fights, and drama. Laura Bell can hardly stay away from Avery, her and Jo Lynn’s ex-boyfriend, even though her friends think she deserves better. Mac has her neighbor Alex who just came back from studying in Germany for the summer—who is quite a hottie—but is not her boyfriend, but she’s definitely developing some feelings towards him. And Ginger has Javier, the hot boy she met on a trip for Habitat to Louisiana and who is now painting a mural for her parents. Jo Lynn may have a new boyfriend, but she doesn’t want a size fourteen girl all over her ex! As debutante season is fast approaching, you can bet that sparks will fly! Jo Lynn is out to get Laura, but the three amigas are fighting back! The road to debuting may be a bit more hazardous and drama-filled than they expect!

Watch out—you’ll be in for one hot and heated end-of-the-summer and Deb season in Susan McBride’s The Debs! Some will go to any length to get rid of the debu-trash while others will do anything to make sure they’re on that debutante list! This is only the start of the adventures for these four wealthy girls and it’ll leave you craving for more!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Red Queen's Daughter by Jacqueline Kolosov

Henry VIII’s last wife and queen, Katherine Parr, passed away not long after the infamous king of England, but her legacy did not die out. The late queen who was greatly respected for her intelligence and compassion and is still revered has left behind her daughter, Mary. Mary was Katherine’s only child with Thomas Seymour, the man Katherine married after Henry died—because Katherine died shortly after giving birth to Mary. With her father accused of treason and executed, Mary raised by another member of British nobility.

However, after a few years, Mary came under the guardianship of Lady Strange. Mary would learn that her new guardian was not any ordinary lady—she is a white magician—and Mary is fated to be one as well. Mary has a great destiny in store for her and will become a white magician to protect Queen Elizabeth’s, the Virgin Queen’s, reign. With that said, Mary begins to study magic, spells, different gem properties, how to detect people’s auras, as well as understanding magic—and understanding the fact that magic comes with a price. White magicians are selfless and use their powers to help others, unlike their counterparts, black magicians.

After years of training, Mary’s call to duty has finally come; she is to become a lady-in-waiting to the queen. Tearfully, she leaves her beloved guardian’s side on a journey that will test everything she has learned, as well as her own character. White magicians are not supposed to reveal themselves and Mary will have to work hard to protect Queen Elizabeth and her hold on the English throne. But is she prepared for the treachery of court life?

Court life is plagued with backstabbing courtiers who will stoop to nothing to get rid of their competition and gain favor in the queen’s court. And it is not better that there is something sinister afoot that leaves Mary wondering if there’s another magician—a black one—hiding among Queen Elizabeth’s court as well.

But not all problems are related to black magic. There are other plots and misdeeds occurring, including another of Queen Elizabeth’s lady-in-waiting getting pregnant. Understanding all the trouble and reputation-ruining that could occur because of this fact, Mary is grateful that she is a white magician and has sworn not to fall in love, but she attempts to help the lady-in-waiting with her new skills. Yet even though she spurns the advances of men, Mary cannot help but feel drawn to her dark and possibly sinister cousin—Edmund Seymour. Why does her dark cousin keep popping up and glancing her way? And why isn’t Mary able to fend him off? Is he behind some of the treachery at court? And why on earth can’t Mary detect his aura? It is rather frustrating, since Mary often gets a glimpse at a person’s character through their auras—could Edmund also know magic? Possibly black magic?

Mary may have years of training, but court life will prove to be another matter that Mary must master if she is to protect Queen Elizabeth’s rule. Mary has a long and arduous journey ahead of her to fulfill the destiny set out for her—a destiny fit for the daughter of a revered queen and of a lady who is intelligent and wise in her own right. Your mind is not always the only thing you can trust; sometimes it is your heart that you must listen to and follow to make the better decision.

Although not too much is known of the real Mary Seymour, daughter of Queen Katherine, this version of Mary would have undoubtedly made her loving and intelligent mother proud. Mary matured beautifully in this novel, and her story was full of other memorable characters that will take readers on a journey back to England during the Tudor era that they won’t be forgetting anytime soon!
There were some errors here and there and the author took some creative liberties (which is fine of course—it’s what made this story possible & what it is!) but overall was quite an excellent read.

9.458 (out of 10)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Tygrine Cat by Inbali Iserles

The last Tygrine queen is in trouble when another great cat clan, the Sa, wish to establish their rule over all felines and rid themselves of the other great cat clan and competition—the Tygrine cats. Knowing that her son must survive and preserve the Tygrine line, the Tygrine queen diverts the Sa’s attention as she tells her son, Mati, to escape onto a ship. Although successful, the queen dies at the paws of her enemies, leaving her son to make his own way into the world.

Mati gets off the ship after a long journey and stumbles into the marketplace and territory of the Cressida Cats. There he meets Domino, Binjax, and Ria. They take him to see Sparrow, and elderly cat, who agrees to introduce Mati to the rest of the Cressida Cats and their chief, Pangur, to see if they will accept him. While Domino and Sparrow may be friendly, Binjax, and the other cats are wary around him, and are not very receptive to newcomers. After awhile, Mati has begun to settle in and learn the way of clan life, including their superstitions and traditions.

But when trouble starts brewing and Mati’s past seems to be catching up to him, Mati realizes that his new life in the marketplace will not last long. Can he run forever, or will his past catch up with him? When Mati is the apparent perpetrator for a crime he did not commit, he is forced to flee and finally confront his past.

With Mati out in the wild, trying to fend for himself, there may be more danger than it seems. The dark servants of the Sa have powers beyond any normal feline, and they are out to finish the job once and for all. But being a descendant of the line that balances the Sa’s, Mati has a great destiny and also posses powers—powers that he had best discover and learn to utilize before the power-hungry Sa reach their ultimate goal and destroy the balance. Mati must grow up and leave the comforts and safety of the past if he is to learn about his heritage and follow his destiny. He must learn that no cat is perfect, and must choose carefully whom he can and cannot trust. Will this heavy burden and harrowing journey to destiny prove too much for an exiled cat?

An absolutely fantastic book! Author Inbali Iserles weaves a captivating and beautiful adventure in The Tygrine Cat! Creative and refreshing, this book will appeal to adventure and animal-lovers! This reminded me a bit of the Warriors series by Erin Hunter—a feline adventure with many different well-thought out and well developed characters that make the journey all the more interesting!

9.950 (out of 10)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Far World: Water Keep ARC giveaway

Thanks to the generous J. Scott Savage, I have an extra ARC of Far World: Water Keep to give away! Best of all, the ARC will be signed to you!! Read my review for Far World here, and keep your eyes out for an interview with the author himself!

To enter for a copy of this fantastic book, all you have to do is comment to this post with your:

- Name
- E-mail
- and the one place you'd like to visit the most, be it Narnia, Hogwarts, Spain, or Beijing--any place, real or not! Just let me know this desired spot and why you'd like to go there and you'll be entered for a chance to win a copy of the first book in the Far World series!

And if you post about this contest, just let me know and I'll give you 2 extra entries!

Please enter by midnight (EST) July 19th!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Interview with Diana Zimmerman

I was lucky enough to get a chance to interview the author of Kandide and the Secret of the Mists, the first book in the Calabiyau Chronicles, Ms. Diana Zimmerman! Kandide and the Secret of the Mists is a fantastic book for young fantasty lovers that will leave readers excited for more of Kandide's adventures! A magical adventure that will appeal to many young readers and even some YA readers as well! Check out my review for Kandide here, and stay tuned for a chance to win your own copy of Kandide and the Secret of the Mists and related goodies in August!

1) Which faery clan would you like to be part of if you lived in Kandide’s world?
The Forest Clan. I love nothing more that walking in the woods and enjoying the closeness to nature it enables.

2) If you had to be one character from your novel, who would it be?
That is a really tough question, as I have a little of each of the characters in me. I adore Selena’s passion and empathy for all creatures, and yet I also love Teren’s zest for everything magical and adventuresome. Jake is another interesting character, with his intrinsic leadership qualities. Certainly, Egan, with his innocent sense of fairness is a part of my feelings about life. Who would not want to be Tara with her tomboy nature and ability to heal forest animals? Then there is Kandide, who is a strong powerful individual and yet she is vulnerable. I guess it would be easier to tell you that I really would not want to be the vicious and cruel Lady Aron, even though she is quite magical. All of the artwork is on

3) Can you tell us anything about the second book in the Calabiyau Chronicles, The Lady’s Revenge? (a little summary? returning character? a new hero/heroine?)
“Kandide and The Lady’s Revenge” pits the all-powerful magic and cunning of Lady Aron against Kandide, her family, and the Imperfects who live in the Vail. Lady Aron is determined to eliminate Kandide and gain control of the Gift, by kidnapping Tara so she can assume control of Calabiyau. A great new and powerful character named Cyndara is also introduced. She is a half-breed Banshee who must save her own kingdom from her nasty brothers. Throughout Book 2, we don’t know if Cyndara is a friend of Lady Aron or Kandide. It is full of magic, mystery, and cunning. There is an excerpt of the book at

4) Who was your favorite character to write about?
Lady Aron—villains are always sooooo much fun—especially if they are as multi-facetted and magically powerful as this one. She is evil yet vulnerable, powerful and yet there is a certain pathos about her.

5) What were your favorite fairytales as a child?
I loved the Wizard of Oz series of books. I also loved the story of the “Twelve Dancing Princesses.” Like Kandide, it has a nice moral.

6) Do you like listening to music while writing?
I actually prefer to listen to the news or talk radio. I know that may seem a bit strange, but it keeps my mind alert.

7) If you could visit any place, fictional or real, where would you like to go most?
Great question. I have been very lucky in my life to have traveled all over the world. So, I would have to say that I would like to visit another dimension—certainly Avalon, then probably Calabiyau. Since I created Calabiyau, it holds a very special place in my heart. The Meadows, with its pomegranates trees and waterfalls, seems like such a great place to relax.

8) Do you have a favorite place to write? To read?
I have a small laptop and so do a lot of writing on planes—since I am always on one going somewhere. My normal writing is at my computer in my home office.
I like to read on planes as well.

9) Any favorite authors or illustrators?
Maxine Gadd, who did the illustrations for “Kandide and the Secret of the Mists,” is my all-time favorite contemporary fairy artist. That is why I commissioned her to do the artwork for Kandide. It is also why I refused to let my publisher print the nine full-color illustrations that are contained within Book One in black and white.

Of the contemporary fantasy artists, I also love Kiniko Craft, Brian Froud, and the amazing art of Shelia Wok. My favorite vintage fairy artists are Harold Gage, John Anster Fitzgerald, and a sculpture named August Moreau. I have over 2,000 pieces in my faery art collection, some of which date back to the 1700s, so my favorites, often change with which one I am admiring at the time.

Marion Zimmer Bradly’s “Mists of Avalon” and “The Da Vinchy Code” by Dan Brown are my favorite novels, and J. J. Tolkien (“The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings”) is my favorite author.

10) Any advice for aspiring writers?
Never, ever give up. No matter what anyone—especially the “experts” tell you—do not give up. Believe in yourself. Donny Duetch says, “Why not me?” Why not you? Why not any of us? If J. K. Rowlings had given up—and she got plenty of rejections—we would not have Harry Potter. If Alex Haley had given up, we would not have “Roots.” If Edison had given up, we would not have the light bulb. Remember, “No” simply means “Not Yet.” Be disciplined. Write EVERY day. “Round to its” don’t get results. Only results get results. Then, when you think your book is as good as it can be, hire a professional copy editor to help you make it even better.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Elite winners

Since one winner of the contest already has a copy of The Elite and the other person has not contacted me, the 2 new winners of the giveaway are:

Carol and Alea

So please contact me at with your address so your prize can be mailed out!

Series I Like

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Divergent by Veronica Roth Firelight by Sophie Jordon Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Thanks to i'm loving books!


I receive review copies of books from publicists, authors and publishers for an honest review. I do not receive monetary or other compensations for posting reviews.