Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Interview with Erin Albert, author of The Prophecy, and Huge Book Giveaway (INT)!

18160774Guys! I've finally read and reviewed The Prophecy by Erin Albert, and it's fabulous! What's even better is that I have an awesome giveaway for you guys, which only leads up to an even BIGGER giveaway!!!!

Goodreads Book Description: Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.

Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He's grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear...not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?

Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.

When Nash's secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.

My Rating: 5 Couches!

My Review: Erin is a good friend on twitter, so I admit I was worried. I always worry about reading friends' books because you want to be honest, but let's face it, it always sucks reading a book you don't like that was written by a friend. Thank goodness, this wasn't an issue because The Prophecy ROCKS! :-)

The Prophecy by Erin Albert is the first book of a YA fantasy trilogy that whisks us away to the nations of the Vanguard and the Ethereals. Layla is our main protagonist, although the perspective of the book shifts from character to character effortlessly, and she is one of the Vanguards. Her adoptive family is worried that she may be the Fulfillment because of her black hair and purple eyes. It's been foretold that the Fulfillment will bring the two kingdoms together in peace.

All Layla wants to do is go to the Vanguard celebration and get some sweet bread. She doesn't feel like the Fulfillment, but she's quickly found by a zealot and taken off to become Wil's bride. Wilhelm is the heir to the Ethereal throne. As Layla meets both Wil and a mysterious boy named Nash, she will be forced to decide between her mind and heart on every level, and make a choice that may save or destroy the kingdoms and the hope for peace.

I loved this book. It was fast paced, and the world building was seamless. I've seen books that completely fail on that level, but The Prophecy had a wonderful balance between world building, character building, and plot. Each of the characters were well described, and I found myself rooting for each of them. I loved the plot twists, and I found a new book boyfriend in Wil, who is one of the sweetest characters I've met in a long time.

Layla was hard to like initially, but she quickly won me over, which is critical in a book like this. I also loved how the older generation of kings and queens played a large role in this book as well.

I wasn't a huge fan of Nash, and I felt like some of those scenes were forced. However, this is my only slightly negative comment about the whole thing, and I know this is just a personal preference. There are several people out there who are glad I don't like Nash so they can have him for themselves!

Overall, a really wonderful YA debut by a wonderful person. I'm beyond relieved that this book is terrific, because it makes my job as an honest reviewer that much easier! I'm dying to get my hands on the next installment!

Interview with Erin:
1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing.
I’ve always loved the written word. I read my first book Morris The Moose Goes To School at age four and typed up my very first poem (with my Mema—grandma—helping me spell). I’ve been writing since that moment. In addition to novel writing, I enjoy theater and have written and directed many plays.

2. What was the best part of writing the Prophecy, and the worst? 
The absolute BEST part about writing The Prophecy has been working with my friends (aka: The Dream Team). They add so much to the process. I think the worst part of any author’s life is waiting, which seems to be something we do a lot. LOL!

3. Tell us about your editing process, and what kind of time and effort and people that go into it.
I am a grammar freak, so I do a good deal of editing before I employ the efforts of others. I start with the story itself. I write that without paying too much attention to grammar, sentence structures, etc. Once it’s complete, I go through and edit myself—a long, painstaking process. I then ask my Dream Team and critique partners to give it a gander and offer their thoughts and edits. When I got the contract for my book, my publisher assigned me editors. I worked with them in several iterations to sharpen the story even more. I ended up spending weeks in the editing cave, but I think those ladies really made the story shine.

4. Name a book that you wish you had written yourself and why.
I wish I had written the Percy Jackson series. I have a MAJOR fictional crush on Percy Jackson. More than that, I think the stories are creative and humorous. I like to think I’m a funny person, but Rick Riordan just takes the cake for me.

5. All your fans want to know... which guy are you partial to in your book? Wil or Nash?
Hmmmmm…I can’t really say lest my answer give away any plot twists in the future books. I can tell you what I like about each of them.

Wil—I love his tender heart, morality, romantic nature, and chivalry. He’s a rare gem of a person.

Nash—I love his strength, passion, mystery, and fierceness. He has so much stacked against him, yet he never gives up.

6. If Layla could have a best friend from another book, tv show, or movie, who would it be and why?
I think Layla would get along well with other tough girls like Tris (Divergent), June (Legend), Allison (Blood of Eden), and Katniss (Hunger Games). Those five just might have the ability to take over the world!! LOL!

7. Can you tell us a little about the sequel to The Prophecy without giving anything away?
In the sequel, you will be introduced to several new characters (some you’ll like and some you won’t), get an answer to Wil and Vespa’s fates, meet the Outlanders, and discover there might be more to the prophecy than meets the eye. There is a scene in this book the Dream Team and I refer to as The Scene. So, be prepared!! ;)

AND NOW! The fantabulous giveaway!!!  

Erin has been supremely generous, and we're giving away FIFTEEN e-copies of The Prophecy! And if that's not cool enough because this book is awesome, the OTHER reason you want to win this book is that IF YOU WRITE A REVIEW, there is a giveaway in January where there is a tremendous, fantastic prize with tons of books and ARCs from 2014 and a gift certificate for one lucky winner! 
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Monday, December 16, 2013

Good News, A New Look, and a Giveaway!

Dear All:
First, I have some good news. I officially passed my Pediatric Boards! Whoohoo! Never have to take that sucker again.

Also, let me know what you think of my redesign. As you can tell, I love the color blue. But I adore the new look. It still preserves the minimalist thing I have going on, but is way prettier! Please let me know what you guys think!

Also, there's a great giveaway going on by one of my favorite indie authors, Christina Smith (plus, she has a pretty great name :-)). She is giving away all 4 of the books in the Moon's Glow series.


To celebrate all this good news, we're gonna do a giveaway! :-) Also, stay tuned for posts on my writing process, reviews on some great adult reads, and my journey as a freelance editor.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

NEW NAME: Ensconced in Lit and Updates and GIVEAWAY!

Dear all:
As you know, I've taken a pretty long hiatus from blogging. There are a couple of reasons why:

1. Took Pediatric Boards in October 
Studying for this pretty much took up any spare time, so I had to cut down on my favorite past time.

2. Writing my first novel 
It's currently in its third draft and with one of my traditionally published friends to see if it's worth sending out to the world in some form or fashion. I'll keep you guys posted and have some upcoming posts about the writing process!

3. Editing
I'm a freelance editor in my spare time, so I've taken a pretty big project recently, to edit a wonderful memoir by Barbara Amaya, who is a trafficking survivor. Working with her has made it clear that this book needs to be out in the world to make people more aware of this huge problem. If you didn't know (and I didn't), it's a huge problem not only internationally, but also here in the United States. I'll be doing a preview and some promotion for this in January.

4. Work:
Things have gotten pretty crazy in the research lab that I'm working in, but finally in the last two weeks have been getting some amazing results! 

Anyway, I'm hoping to get back into blogging. I'll never do it as frequently as I did when I started since I'm transitioning to writing books more, but I'll try to post once a week.

I've decided to rebrand my blog as ENSCONCED IN LIT because my novel is adult contemporary, and I've branched out from reading just YA. I want to share some of those reads with you all without having a second blog.

It was nice to take a break from YA, but it'll always be my first love!

I'm also going to start doing some giveaways this month to thank my readers and hopefully remind people I'm still around! Can't wait to see you all more in the future!
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