Books · Reviews

Review: Holding the Future Hostage by Tialla Rising

Holding the Future Hostage: The Legacy of the Ruby VialHolding the Future Hostage: The Legacy of the Ruby Vial by Tialla Rising
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Holding the Future Hostage

A Mystical Bottle… A Teenage Beauty… A Criminal… A Universe of Pursuit. When a teenage girl finds an enchanting perfume Vial, her world is thrown into chaos. Friends become enemies; enemies become friends. Trust is what she needs most – and what she can’t find. Through a series of deadly experiences, she discovers that this Vial plays a vital role in deciding the fate of many. Murder and betrayal surround her – hundreds try to claim her very life. A test of determination awaits…. Will she survive? Visions of the future, attacks, kidnappings, travel, explosions, and murder fill this page-turning novel with suspense and surprise.
(Blurb from Goodreads)

I’ve been meaning to read this for a few years now, and I’m so glad I finally did! Although it’s a self-published debut novel, Holding the Future Hostage was a well-wriiten, captivating book.

Characters

I liked pretty much all of the characters. Shawn was by far my favorite (I mean, come on? What’s not to like?), and I’m so excited to read more about him in the sequel! Virginia was a fun character, her friend felt very real, and I loved her brother! I really appreciated the way they grew throughout the novel. It felt fairly realistic and not forced.

Plot

The plot was pretty exciting! There were a few slow passages, but once I neared the end, there was no putting this book down! The last several chapters were pretty much non-stop action. I was enthralled by the premise, as well. I desperately wanted to hold the Ruby Vial: it seems so powerful! There were a few plot-holes, or things that weren’t explained well, but for the most part, I enjoyed it!

Overall thoughts

Overall, I thought this was a great book. I was shocked to find that the author’s writing style is very similar to my own! I’m sure it’ll improve in her next books, though. 😉 There were a few things concerning Shawn and his connection to the Vial that I thought were not handled well, but other than that, I’d say this book is very well done, especially for a teen author! Great job, Tialla! 🙂

Would I recommend it? Yes
What age would I recommend it for? Probably ages 10+, because of a few mildly violent scenes
Would I read the other books in the series? Oh yes!

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Books · Interviews

Introducing… Narina! Character Interview

I’m very excited to be doing an interview with one of my very own characters, from a short story/novella sequel to the prequel of my fantasy trilogy. (It’s complicated, I know!). I’m introducing Narina to you, because from now on she will be doing all the character interviews on my blog for me.

And here she is now, so we can proceed.

(Photo from Pinterest)
(Photo from Pinterest)

Narina, it’s great to have you join us. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

As Lena said, my name is Narina, and I am featured in a short story she is planning to write. My grandfather was a human who lived on Artha, but moved to Kharsedon with his three children in his old age. I was born to his daughter in Kharsedon, but I moved to Artha when I was 24. I’ve lived here ever since, trying to blend in with the humans.

 

In what ways do you stand out from the humans of earth (Artha)?

Being half Kirf and half human, I have some characteristics of both. I’m a little stronger than most humans, but I still look like a human. I am a Comunicator – someone who can understand the language of a different species – so that’s easier to hide than if I were a Shifter. Also, the languages of animals here on Artha are slightly different from those on Kharsedon, so they’re a little harder to understand.
I also will live longer, which means I age differently: once I reached 20 years old, I stopped aging. I will not begin to age again until I’m 500 or so.
But for the moment, I just look like your average human!

 

This may seem like a silly question, but for the sake of the readers: are you aware of the existence of your author? If so, what is your relationship with her like?

Yes! We call Lena the Lekhaka, or Scribe. She was my first friend upon my arrival to Artha, and has remained very dear to me. We discuss all the different books she is chronicling, and I help her with the history and language of Kharsedon.

 

What is a special accomplishment of yours?

I am a worlds traveller. I have visited many different worlds through the Gateway (you can learn the fascinating history of the Gateway in the books Lekhaka is writing). I also have the ability to time travel, which I learned on one of my trips to a very technologically advanced world. 

 

That’s awesome! I would love to do that!
What was it like to move to another world?

It was difficult at first, but thanks to the help of Varldine and Lekhaka, I settled in relatively quickly.

 

Glad to hear it!! Thank you so much for joining me for this, Narina! I really enjoyed it.

 

If you have any other questions for Narina, ask them in the comments. She would be thrilled to answer them all!

Random

Why Writers are like Gandalf

This is beautiful!

The Overactive Imagination

Howdy!

I had this epiphany this morning on my way to an eye doctor’s appointment. I was driving along thinking about the writing I wanted to get done today, which somehow transitioned to debating how I would fare during an adventure, which somehow transitioned thinking about Gandalf and how he got Bilbo to join Thorin and Co. My mind is a strange place and apparently in a constant state of flux.

Of course thinking about Gandalf got me thinking about writing again and I realized there were a few similarities between writers and this great wizard.

  1. When we discover a new character what’s the first thing we do? Knock on his freshly painted door and tell them “I’m looking for someone to share in an adventure!” To which they probably reply “No thank you!” But we just look at them fondly, chuckle a bit, and reply

“Well that’s decided. It’ll…

View original post 279 more words

Blog Tour · Books · Interviews

Water Princess, Fire Prince blog tour, post #2: Interview

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When the Lady Dragon does come,
Hold fast, do not fear, do not run.
Your Water Princess will fight,
Fire Prince will set all to right.
Each shall come from a Fall,
Their union will save you all.

Despite the fact that she’s on track for competing in the Olympics, and he’s practically raised his younger brothers since they lost their mom in a car accident, Clara Mandras and Andrew Stevenson are pretty much normal teens. They have normal hopes, normal dreams, and they live in a normal world.
All this is torn away from them when they are thrust into another world and declared Water Princess and Fire Prince. With no experience ruling a country, meeting each other for the first time, and being expected to fight the Lady Dragon – an evil sorceress plaguing the world of Rizkaland – Clara and Andrew are underprepared and inexperienced. Unless they learn to work together despite their standing opposition, Rizkaland’s hope will be lost.

What is to come will change their lives forever.

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6f4ba-goodreads

 

And now for an exciting interview with the author! 

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! I’m a twenty-year-old author of seven books, I’ve been homeschooled my whole life, am the eldest of four, and I enjoy knitting.

 

Of all the books you’ve written, which is your favorite?

At the moment, that award goes to Water Princess, Fire Prince. I’m rather proud of that hefty collection of words.

 

What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

Fantasy on both accounts, predominately Fairy Tale Retellings and Christian. 

 

How did you come up with the title for Water Princess, Fire Prince?

From the moment I came up with the idea, I knew I wanted the title of the main character as the book’s title. However, for the longest time, I was confused and thought it was Waterfall Princess. My mom set me straight, and I never looked back.

 

What is your current WIP?

I have three that I’m currently focusing on:
The Sequel: Which takes place about a thousand years after Water Princess, Fire Prince, and has a completely different cast. It was also one of the first books I ever wrote, so I’m rather excited about this one.

Poison Kiss: My entry for the Five Magic Spindles contest. Basically, I’m shaking it up with reversing the kiss and spinning wheel’s role and tossing in Puss in Boots.

And Sew We Take The Kingdom: An Anthology of Bookania. This involves revising Sew, and writing one and half short stories, and writing book 3.5.

 

When did you start writing? What inspired you to write your first book?

I’ve been making up stories since before I understood the concept, and so when I learned to write, it was the most natural thing in the world for me to begin pouring those stories onto the page. And since I was homeschooled, and I have a very smart mother, she put a lot of writing into my curriculum. I can’t say for certain what my first book was, but a genderswapped retelling of “Rumplestilskin” sticks out in my mind.

 

What authors/books have inspired you most?

C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and L. Frank Baum.

 

Which author would you most like to meet in person (living or dead)?

Miss Jack Lewis Baillot. This is mostly because we’re working on writing a book together and it’d be really cool if we could sit down and talk about it in person.

 

Random preference questions:
     a) Morning or night? Depends on my mood. Some days I want to burn the midnight oil, other days I’m all system’s go by six in the morning.
     b) Moon or stars? Moon. I actually have a rocket ship and make regular trips.
     c) Favorite food? Spaghetti.
     d) Favorite movie? The Nutcracker ballet – almost any version.
     e) Favorite genre of:
          i) Movie? Fantasy
          ii) Music? Country, Classics, Christian

 

Is there a little known fact about you or your books that you’d like to share with us?

Um … Ooh – in Water Princess, Fire Prince, there’s a mildly important elf named Dular. In the first draft, it was Zindar. However, when I reached his character in the second draft, Dular was the name at the top of my head.

It wasn’t until a few months later that I realized where the name came from – it’s the name of a character’s missing father in one of the WIP’s I have sitting on my back burner, Half-Hidden.

 

Thank you so much, Kendra! I greatly enjoyed this! 

 

imageKendra E. Ardnek loves fairy tales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She’s been practicing her skills on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years, “Finish your story, Kendra”, is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that also glorify God and his Word. You can read more about her on her blog, knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com.

 

Part 1’s first chapter
Part 2’s first chapter

 

Free Books!
31st-4th
Sew, It’s a Quest 
Do You Take This Quest? 
31st ONLY
My Kingdom for a Quest
1st – 5th
The Ankulen
CinderEddy
Saffron’s Big Plan

 

And check out this exciting sneak peek! 

So Andrew picked the sword back up, but this time didn’t lift it over his head. He held it awkwardly at about waist-height.
“Always respect your sword,” Abraham said, solemnly. “For it is not only your weapon, but also your defense. You just committed the simplest and most dangerous mistakes a person can make – you left your whole body exposed.”
“I didn’t expect you to attack me,” Andrew countered.
“Ah! So there your mistake began,” said Abraham. “Never assume that a man won’t attack you, especially if you can see that he has a sword. And even if you cannot see that he is armed, still, do not relax. You never know who your enemy is.”
“So you’re telling me not to trust anyone?”
“I’m telling you to not let your guard down at any time.”
And then without warning, Abraham attacked Andrew again, and the sword was again knocked from Andrew’s hand and went flying clear across the clearing.
“But I wasn’t ready!” Andrew protested.
He noticed Abraham’s raised eyebrow and scampered over to get the sword again.
“And what did I just tell you?” asked Abraham. “Stay on guard at all times.”
Andrew picked the sword back up. “I’ve never held a sword before in my life, and you’re expecting me to know how to ‘stay on guard!’”

Blog Tour · Books · Title Reveal

Water Princess, Fire Prince blog tour, post #1: Book Two title reveal!!

Introducing …

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Lady Dragon,
Tela Du

Two girls with one face
Two girls with twisted fate
One in purple, one in red
One shall speak the other’s death
Who shall win their final war?
Lady Dragon or Tela Du?
Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised fifty years ruling over Rizkaland, and it is time for her to claim it. Only one person stands in her way of ruling forever – the Tela Du, the girl who shall share her face.
The last thing Petra wants is to have to fight and kill the Lady Dragon. What she wants is to have a normal life, and to prove that she isn’t insane for remembering sisters that no one else can. Rizkaland has other ideas.

 

The Story Behind this Book:
Nearly ten years ago now, the first of the new Narnia movies released, and I got to see it in Theaters – actually, the last movie we got to see as a family. A friend of ours had also seen the movie, and had been converted to the Narnia fandom, and so as we were chatting about it, one of us had a brilliant idea – why don’t we make our own Narnia movie? We all loved acting, so it seemed like the most natural thing in the world.

As the eldest of that threesome, and the most adamant about the plot, I took on the responsibility of writing the script, then titled “The Giraffe, The Witch, and the Tunnel Tube.” At first it resembled Narnia fairly closely, the changes we made were for casting or prop reasons – we didn’t have a lion costume, we did have giraffe. We didn’t have a wardrobe, we did have a tunnel.

After several fits and starts, my mother told me that I needed to put it away and rehash it so it resembled Narnia less, perhaps make it summer instead of winter, a dragon instead of a witch. So, I followed her advice and managed to turn out my first finished work of any great length. It was quickly followed by a second draft, after I decided that I wanted to make some changes to the ending. A third draft quickly followed when I decided I wanted love interests.

As I finished this third script, I realized that it was far too complicated a story for me to hope to perform at that time. And since it had changed so radically from Narnia by that point, I decided to take the plunge back into novel writing. Shortly before NaNo of ’10, I finished this draft at twenty thousand words, and was terribly proud of myself – though I knew it needed work. However, I now had other story ideas on my plate that were demanding my attention – Bookania and the Ankulen – and I knew I needed to write and publish Water Princess, Fire Prince first.

So I set aside again. Oh I worked on it, here and there and in snippets – one or two scenes especially – but for the most part, it largely sat at the back of my mind festering and boiling.

It’s changed a lot since I started writing it, and this draft that I’m writing now has changed even more. It’s a powerful story that has come with me through some of my darkest years. I’m so thrilled to finally be at the verge of sharing it.

 

Sneak Peak:

At last Amber came to the men working this farm, a father and his two sons, she guessed, of human stock. They’d suit her purposes just fine.
“Oh, good gentlemen!” she cried, filling her voice with pathos. “I’m so glad to have found you. Do these fields never end?”
The father straightened and regarded Amber critically. “Well,” he said, after several long moments, “I reckon I can say that there are days I wonder the same, though with this drought, they aren’t nearly enough. Who may you be, Miss? It isn’t often we see strangers around here, especially not ones dressed as fine as you.”
“Nor as pretty,” one of the sons commented.
Amber shot the boy an imperious glance. “I am married.” She’d already noticed the way they’d been staring at her while trying to look like they weren’t. She turned her attention back to the father. “I have traveled rather far from home, I fear,” she admitted. “Where I come from, there aren’t nearly as many colors, and the rim of this world curls away from me strangely.”
It took the man several seconds to process Amber’s speech. At length, he asked, “Did the Doorkeeper bring you to us?”
This question took Amber by surprise, and for a moment, she was rendered speechless, as her conversation with Laura echoed through her head. She quickly recovered herself, however, and shook her head. “No, I cannot say that she did.”
And it was true, Amber admitted bitterly to herself. For all the travels she made and grand stories she produced, Laura had never taken Amber anywhere. Amber had been forced to make her own escape both times her world fell.
“Well, perhaps she did and you just didn’t see her, I hear that she can be mighty sneaky at times.” The man shook his head. “But from the looks of your dress and jewels, I’m willing to say you were someone mighty important where you come from. A princess, maybe?”
“Queen.” Amber drew herself to her full stature.
“I see.” The man nodded. “Well, after our last few hard winters and scorching summers, we scarcely have enough to call a fitting meal for royalty, but you’re welcome to come stay at least the night with us before we send you to Loray to meet our own kings and queens. You said you were married, didn’t you?”
She nodded, “I am.”
“So your husband?”
“Accompanied me, but he lacks my ambition.”
“I see,” said the man. “Welcome along then, my dear – I mean, your highness. I don’t think I quite caught your name.”
“I don’t think I gave it to you,” she replied.