Giveaway: The Movement of Crowns Series

Even after devastation, all is not lost.
The Movement of Crowns Series by Nadine C. Keels

“Overall, The Movement Of Crowns series is an excellent read. The stories are compelling, the people are very well written. I thoroughly enjoyed all three books.” ~iRead Book Reviews

Find the giveaway for these three books in the Faith, Hope, and Book Love group on Facebook.
Giveaway ends July 6, 2018.

 

Washed Under the Waves by Gloria Clover

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. By The Vine Press provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

Washed Under the Waves by Gloria Clover

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

When members of her family die in a tsunami, Tayte is left to be the reluctant ruler of Undae. She’s having little success preparing her island for the coming of the prophesied prince she’s to wed. Athan, the prince, worries about how he’s to win Tayte over, since the King who sends Athan to Undae orders him to disguise himself as a tutor in Washed Under the Waves, a novel by author Gloria Clover.

This first book in the Children of the King fantasy series is chock-full of interwoven themes: love, treason, adoption, marriage, insecurity, redemption, humility, work ethic, authority, and the list goes on. The setting and history of Undae is intricate and vivid, and there’s enough mystifying detail in this tale to make the inexplicable believable. One of my biggest takeaways from the read comes from Athan’s side of the journey: the idea that knowing the facts of a situation doesn’t mean you know the story.

As for the romance, I’ll admit it’s something of a turn-off for me whenever there’s physical violence between romantic characters, even if it’s brief. And if there’s a sustained period when either of the characters feels as if their relationship is wrong or forbidden, in the sense that it’s grating against his or her conscience, it feels more tense than truly romantic to me. Also, my interest waned during some of the chapters, especially when the characters’ doubts or deliberations seemed to go back and forth or in circles longer or more times than necessary.

On a different note, I don’t see how fantasy fiction fans could resist checking out a novel with such a dramatic, stunning book cover. (You can all but feel and hear those vibrant waves.) Plus, while the story takes place some time in the future, it’s a read that historical fiction fans can enjoy as well. I’ve been intrigued by this world and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

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Note to my blog readers: this novel contains some sensual content appropriate for mature audiences, though the content isn’t explicit.

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Washed Under the Waves is Book One in the Children of the King series.

   

 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Meg Murry’s father has been missing for quite a while now, having mysteriously disappeared while doing top secret work for the government. When three unearthly creatures pull Meg, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin into an otherworldly mission to find Mr Murry, adventure and danger ensue in A Wrinkle in Time, a novel by author Madeleine L’Engle.

This is one of those classics I’ve known about forever and decided to finally give a go. And, no, it wasn’t because of the major motion picture coming out. I didn’t hear about the movie until after I picked up a copy of this book, written by the author of two of my all-time favorite novels: The Small Rain and A Severed Wasp.

Also, no, I don’t enjoy famous books just because they’re famous, and admittedly, my interest in this one had some ups and downs as I went along. A nice number of different nuggets in the book immediately stuck me, including these:

“I don’t understand it any more than you do, but one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to understand things for them to be.

“I’m all confused again.”
“Oh, so ‘m I. But now at least I know we’re going somewhere.”

“There will no longer be so many pleasant things to look at if responsible people do not do something about the unpleasant ones.”

(Pardon my using regular English spelling for that last quote from Mrs Which, for anyone who recognizes it.)

Then there were other times during the journey when my interest waned, and I began to worry a bit toward the end, wondering how the story might reach a satisfying conclusion in the very little time it had left. Yet, even though I’m not usually one to finish novels in one sitting, something was pulling at me all along to just keep on reading, keep on reading right through…

…right through to this novel’s glorious finish.

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A Wrinkle in Time is the first book in the Time Quintet.

   

 

Some Genre Details, If You Please

When an author writes in multiple genres, or writes cross-genre books, some clarification can be in order now and then. So I’ll explain a bit about a few of the genres I write.

Historical Fantasy

Historical fiction is one of my all-time favorite genres, so it makes sense that I’d want to write books with a historical feel. Because the historical stories I write are fictional history in completely fictional worlds, they aren’t solely historical fiction. They’re historical fantasy fiction.

Yes, “fantasy” does have certain connotations. There’s usually an expectation of magic, mythical creatures, and the like, but my stories don’t have those fantastical elements. Their “fantasy” label simply signifies that the history, geography, characters, languages, etc. in the books are all imagined, not factual. (Of course, in my role as the English-speaking translator for my characters, I do translate most of their dialogue into English. 😉 )

These stories will likely appeal to you if you’re a historical fiction fan who can enjoy a story with history that’s purely from an author’s imagination. If you’re a fantasy fiction fan who enjoys fictional worlds and some world building, my historical fantasy fiction may appeal to you as well.

Coming of Age

A character’s age alone does not determine the genre or age-appropriateness of a book.* For instance, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is told from the perspective of a little girl, but that doesn’t mean it’s a children’s book.

Although, thus far, the main characters in my books have tended to be, say, in their thirties or younger, I didn’t write the books specifically or only for readers of corresponding ages. On a related note, where the whole kit and caboodle of my books are concerned, you’ll find a range of ages in the stories, from characters in their childhood years to characters in their twilight years.

When I label one of my books as “coming of age,” it signifies that the main characters are young but that they’ll reach a major turning or maturing point in life, or that the stories follow the characters from childhood or their teenage years to adulthood. This includes my coming of age romances. After all, adulthood isn’t where life begins, and for a lot of people, adulthood isn’t where love begins, either.

You don’t have to be a young adult or a twenty- or thirty-something reader to enjoy my coming of age stories—or any of my stories, for that matter. You just have to be interested in human beings and what humans experience, no matter their ages.

Romances vs. Love Stories

Even though a book may have a romantic storyline, or a romance within the storyline, it doesn’t necessarily make the book a romance, genre wise. In a romance book, romance must be the central aspect of the plot. Also, the plot in a romance book follows a specified progression (formula), and that includes a “Happily Ever After” ending where the romantic couple ends up together.

A love story, on the other hand, may be just as romantic, but it doesn’t necessarily follow the romance genre formula. For instance, if the romantic aspect of a plot doesn’t show up until fairly late in a book because the hero and heroine don’t meet each other until then, it’s not a romance. It’s a love story. If at the end of a book, the romantic hero and heroine are going their separate ways for a time, and the status of their relationship is left open-ended, it’s not a romance. It’s a love story.

When I label one of my books as a “love story,” it signifies that romantic love is a significant theme in the book, but the book isn’t of the romance genre. If you’re like me and believe that romantic love is a vital and universal part of life, and you enjoy seeing that kind of love portrayed in fiction, then my romances and love stories may appeal to you.

I hope that all makes sense!

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*Note: as for the content, I’d say my books fall within the “PG” to “PG-13ish” range. No profanity or explicit sex. When there’s violence, it isn’t gratuitous, and any substance use is mild or brief. I don’t set out to write squeaky-clean or unrealistically sanitized fiction, since real life can get messy, but I don’t include “mess” for the sake of it, either.