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Review: “Atlanta Burns” by Chuck Wendig

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Atlanta Burns: Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Released on: January 27, 2015

I purchased this book for my own reading. 

Thank you Bella for giving me a place I can share my reviews.

Description:

You don’t mess with Atlanta Burns.

Everyone knows that. And that’s kinda how she likes it—until the day Atlanta is drawn into a battle against two groups of bullies and saves a pair of new, unexpected friends. But actions have consequences, and when another teen turns up dead—by an apparent suicide—Atlanta knows foul play is involved. And worse: she knows it’s her fault. You go poking rattlesnakes, maybe you get bit.

Afraid of stirring up the snakes further by investigating, Atlanta turns her focus to the killing of a neighborhood dog. All paths lead to a rural dogfighting ring, and once more Atlanta finds herself face-to-face with bullies of the worst sort. Atlanta cannot abide letting bad men do awful things to those who don’t deserve it. So she sets out to unleash her own brand of teenage justice.

Will Atlanta triumph? Or is fighting back just asking for a face full of bad news?

This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and violence.

Revised edition: Previously published as two volumes, Shotgun Gravy and Bait Dog, this combined edition includes editorial revisions.

Review:

Atlanta Burns, the book, is hard to like, but easy to love, the same can be said for the character who shares the title. There is much pain in Atlanta and just enough darkness that she can come across as standoffish, and difficult, but her past makes the rough edges understandable and easy to empathize with. The book itself deals with many hurtful subjects causing you to wonder how they can all fit, but they do. Mr. Wendig weaves a tale that draws you through loops and turns, many of which make you want to close your eyes because they are distasteful, until finally it all pulls into a masterful endgame where you find resolution and maybe a little bit of peace.

Atlanta Burns, the young woman, has been through too much for someone her age, but instead of creating a pitiful character she is written into a strong woman, unafraid to do things that others cannot, or will not. Being willing to deal with the rougher sides of life in her town means she has to face the fact she might make herself and those around her targets.

There are not many subjects that cause me to turn away from a book, but the dogfighting in this dealt with one of them. Instead of pushing me away, the manner in which the character and the writer handled it kept me saying “You can get through this.” And I did, and I am glad I did.

Tragedy seems to find this book at every turn and you come out feeling like you have been drug through the dirt with Atlanta. Instead of feeling “justified” in the choices she makes you can see the damage done by them. There is a saying that no good comes without a cost and the story written here is a perfect example of it.

As a new reader of Chuck Wendig’s work let me say that this book has made me ready to read more. His storytelling and perspective make for a well done point of view for bringing an outsider into Atlanta’s darkened hometown. I give this book five fireballs as I really enjoyed it.

 

5fireballs[1]

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Diana L. Wicker is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Tales from Feyron

“The Legacy of Mist and Shadow” (Tales from Feyron, Book Three) by Diana L. Wicker

Published on… 20 December 2014
Published as… Young Adult Fantasy, Coming of Age

A Chat with…Nuriel & Zilya

Bella: What is the name of the book where we’ll find you? Can you tell us a little about it?
Zilya: We appear together in the newest adventure from the Age of Awakenings set, Legacy of Mist and Shadow. It’s the story of my discovery of my family’s background and where my magics came from.

Nuriel: *snorts as he turns to look at her* It is not. It is the story of the rediscovery of my World Beyond.

Zilya: hmm…perhaps we should just tell you what the author says about the story and let you decide for yourself.

“Old relics and have stories of their own. Sometimes they contain adventures waiting to be sparked and journeys bursting to begin.

The Box of Melodies was left with Clan Caris by Lady Oyisha, daughter of the mists, for care and keeping. A series of visions revealing the last desperate moments of a forgotten clan – the loss of their gateway to Feyron and the escape of a lone traveler holding the box – spurs a handful of adventuresome youth on a trek through the Lesser Forest where they inadvertently cause a ripple through the mists with unintended consequences.

A few of the youth find themselves on an unexpected journey to a World Beyond, lost in mist and shadow, where misunderstanding and suspicion lead to danger and darkness. Forgotten histories are discovered, clan secrets are revealed, and old alliances are remembered as the families of the lost seek to discover where the youth have been drawn by the memories within the Mists of Time.”

Bella: Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?
Nuriel: I am Nuriel, last descendant of the last Summoner. I suppose I’m the leader of the Avahaa, the remaining few, although that’s not a responsibility I ever asked for. I was just a child when my grandfather fell in battle.

Zilya: *rolls her eyes and shakes her head* You ‘suppose’ you’re the leader of those left behind? He darn well knows they all look to him for leadership.

I am Zilya, a griffin-child from clan Caris. I know that may seem odd, as Caris is the clan of shapeshifters, but my mother is a griffin-child, like her mother before her. I see visions in the moonlit mists. In this tale I find myself on an unexpected journey in an unforeseeable location. There’s nothing quite so disconcerting as finding yourself in a strange location where you can’t understand a word anyone is saying.

Bella: What do you think of the author? Be honest. We won’t tell.
Zilya: I do wish she’d give us a bit of a heads up before dropping us in an adventure. I was, after all, a barely mentioned little sister, hardly more than a side note before this. It was quiet unexpected to find myself in the middle of one of her tales.

Nuriel: I, for one, and grateful to the author for telling our tale. Far too long did we wait in the shadows longing for the light.

Bella: How do you feel about the story you’re in?
Nuriel: Well, it’s the story of the rediscovery of my World Beyond, so I suppose I’d darn well better like it. I do hope she decides to look back on our past, for that is a story worthy of being told.

Zilya: I’m not really sure. Being throw into the middle of an adventure, finding magics I never knew I had…it’s all been quite overwhelming. I’m not really sure how I feel about all the excitement. I’m sort of used to fading into the background.

Bella: Do you like being a character in the book?
Zilya: You know, I’m not really sure. *giggles* I guess I keep saying that, don’t I?

Nuriel: *rolls his eyes and sighs, muttering something under his breath* Well, I am pleased that this story has been told, and I can’t imagine it can be told without me.

Bella: How do you see your future? Without giving anything away about the story, naturally.
Nuriel: My future? *appears slightly confused* Now it’s my turn to say ‘I’m not really sure.’ So much has changed around me, but nothing has changed within me. I still feel…sort of lost.

Zilya: I sort of hope it goes back to normal, but I’m not sure that it can. I mean, after such an adventure, you’re not really the same person anymore, are you? *glances sidelong at Nuriel*

Bella: What do you know about your author’s plans? Can we expect to see you in any future stories?
Zilya: Oh gosh I hope not! *covers mouth and blushes* Is that rude to say? I mean, all things considered, I’m sure I will be. I just hope it’s a much calmer tale.

Nuriel: *says softly to himself as he watches Zilya* Some people are too important not to be mentioned again. *coughs loudly as Zilya glances over at him* I don’t know if I’ll be in any future stories. I may well have fulfilled my purpose now, as far as storytelling goes. I guess we’ll just have to see.

Bella: Let’s say they make a movie about this book. Who do you want to play you, and why?
Nuriel: The author likes this thing called anime. I’ve heard her say that she once saw me in a show. The character’s name was Arawn, and he’s apparently my twin. As to live actors, possibly Colin Morgan.

Zilya: ooo, movies! That is something I do miss from my old World Beyond. Oh gosh, choosing someone to be me? Wow…

There’s so many good actresses that play characters my age. It’s so hard to decide… um…maybe, Amandla Stenberg?

About the Series

The Dreamweaver’s Return (Book One)

The Realm of Feyron has always been. It is the origin of all things magical, the axis point where all the worlds meet. Once, in days gone by, there were many gateways within the Temple of Pyli connecting the Worlds Beyond seeded with magic to their home. Now many gateways have flickered out, and Feyron weakens as the magic fades and the Guardians are lost.

For the first time in over three hundred years a Dreamweaver has come of age and is tasked with contacting the Guardians. When she awakens in the night after a vision of her best friend lost and alone, injured in the snows at the top of the Crystal Mountains, she seeks out the Sacred Fire in the Temple in an attempt to call forth more information. A voice calls out from the fire, “Dreamweaver, you are summoned.” An image appears of an ancient path through the Mist Shrouded Forest leading to a hidden gate into the Crystal Caverns below the mountains. The Guardians have summoned her on a quest that will take her to the four realms of light within Feyron in search of answers and aid.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iBooks or Kobo

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The Guardian Child’s Return (Book Two)

The Guardians have awakened after the Time of Sleep and returned to renew the magic with the clans of Faie. At the request of the Guardian, Lord Grypos, Keeper of Knowledge, the Master Scholar travels through the Outer Gateway with craftsmen and apprentices to coordinate the repairs of the once great oasis that houses the ancient archives of knowledge known as the Island in the Sands.

As the summer wanes and the oasis begins to return to its former glory, the Guardian calls the Master Scholar to the meditation room in the wee hours of the night to discuss a journey. In the fire an image flickers of the red desert sands speeding past, a land of grey beyond the desert, and a cavern of twilight behind an obsidian wall. “Arwyn and Shyamal are to go there for me to seek out that which was once mine.”

What starts as a seemingly simple journey becomes an adventure with life threatening consequences as the two are unexpectedly joined by their friends on a journey far from home beyond the Realms of Light in a realm that few within the clans of Faie knew could even be reached.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iBooks or Kobo

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The Legacy of Mist and Shadow (Book Three)

Old relics and have stories of their own. Sometimes they contain adventures waiting to be sparked and journeys bursting to begin.

The Box of Melodies was left with Clan Caris by Lady Oyisha, daughter of the mists, for care and keeping. A series of visions revealing the last desperate moments of a forgotten clan – the loss of their gateway to Feyron and the escape of a lone traveler holding the box – spurs a handful of adventuresome youth on a trek through the Lesser Forest where they inadvertently cause a ripple through the mists with unintended consequences.

A few of the youth find themselves on an unexpected journey to a World Beyond, lost in mist and shadow, where misunderstanding and suspicion lead to danger and darkness. Forgotten histories are discovered, clan secrets are revealed, and old alliances are remembered as the families of the lost seek to discover where the youth have been drawn by the memories within the Mists of Time.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iBooks or Kobo

Smashwords Promotion!
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Coupon Code: AL72T
Expires: December 31, 2015

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Code: 62Q294LR
Percentage Off 25%

About the Author

Diana L. Wicker Author Photo
Diana lives in the balmy climate of the US south with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and a cantakerous rabbit. She enjoys reading, sewing (clothing, costuming, and experimental toy making), and RPG games. (She grew up with the old school paper/pencil style of gaming, but has transitioned happily to the highly interactive world of video games.)

The idea for Feyron started with a map, a place for her daughter to tell stories and live out storytelling role playing adventures with her friends. The lore grew around the map, for every world needs lore if you are going to “live” there. The idea for a series, Tales from Feyron, grew out of the lore, for if you’re going to invent a world, you may as well play there too. The stories are continuing to grow through the various historical ages of Feyron and may yet “ripple” outwards to the Worlds Beyond touched by magic.

~* Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads *~

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Diana L. Wicker is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Tales from Feyron

“The Dreamweaver’s Return” by Diana L. Wicker

Published on… 2 November 2012
Published as… Young Adult Fantasy, Coming of Age

“The Guardian Child’s Return” by Diana L. Wicker

Published on… 10 May 2013

“The Legacy of Mist and Shadow” by Diana L. Wicker

Published on… 20 December 2014

Diana L. Wicker’s Quote Art

Feyron Quote Art 1

 

Feyron Quote Art 2

About the Book

The Dreamweaver’s Return

The Realm of Feyron has always been. It is the origin of all things magical, the axis point where all the worlds meet. Once, in days gone by, there were many gateways within the Temple of Pyli connecting the Worlds Beyond seeded with magic to their home. Now many gateways have flickered out, and Feyron weakens as the magic fades and the Guardians are lost.

For the first time in over three hundred years a Dreamweaver has come of age and is tasked with contacting the Guardians. When she awakens in the night after a vision of her best friend lost and alone, injured in the snows at the top of the Crystal Mountains, she seeks out the Sacred Fire in the Temple in an attempt to call forth more information. A voice calls out from the fire, “Dreamweaver, you are summoned.” An image appears of an ancient path through the Mist Shrouded Forest leading to a hidden gate into the Crystal Caverns below the mountains. The Guardians have summoned her on a quest that will take her to the four realms of light within Feyron in search of answers and aid.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iBooks or Kobo

The Guardian Child’s Return

The Guardians have awakened after the Time of Sleep and returned to renew the magic with the clans of Faie. At the request of the Guardian, Lord Grypos, Keeper of Knowledge, the Master Scholar travels through the Outer Gateway with craftsmen and apprentices to coordinate the repairs of the once great oasis that houses the ancient archives of knowledge known as the Island in the Sands.

As the summer wanes and the oasis begins to return to its former glory, the Guardian calls the Master Scholar to the meditation room in the wee hours of the night to discuss a journey. In the fire an image flickers of the red desert sands speeding past, a land of grey beyond the desert, and a cavern of twilight behind an obsidian wall. “Arwyn and Shyamal are to go there for me to seek out that which was once mine.”

What starts as a seemingly simple journey becomes an adventure with life threatening consequences as the two are unexpectedly joined by their friends on a journey far from home beyond the Realms of Light in a realm that few within the clans of Faie knew could even be reached.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iBooks or Kobo

The Legacy of Mist and Shadow

Old relics and have stories of their own. Sometimes they contain adventures waiting to be sparked and journeys bursting to begin.

The Box of Melodies was left with Clan Caris by Lady Oyisha, daughter of the mists, for care and keeping. A series of visions revealing the last desperate moments of a forgotten clan – the loss of their gateway to Feyron and the escape of a lone traveler holding the box – spurs a handful of adventuresome youth on a trek through the Lesser Forest where they inadvertently cause a ripple through the mists with unintended consequences.

A few of the youth find themselves on an unexpected journey to a World Beyond, lost in mist and shadow, where misunderstanding and suspicion lead to danger and darkness. Forgotten histories are discovered, clan secrets are revealed, and old alliances are remembered as the families of the lost seek to discover where the youth have been drawn by the memories within the Mists of Time.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iBooks or Kobo

About the Author

Diana L. Wicker Author Photo
Diana lives in the balmy climate of the US south with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and a cantakerous rabbit. She enjoys reading, sewing (clothing, costuming, and experimental toy making), and RPG games. (She grew up with the old school paper/pencil style of gaming, but has transitioned happily to the highly interactive world of video games.)

The idea for Feyron started with a map, a place for her daughter to tell stories and live out storytelling role playing adventures with her friends. The lore grew around the map, for every world needs lore if you are going to “live” there. The idea for a series, Tales from Feyron, grew out of the lore, for if you’re going to invent a world, you may as well play there too. The stories are continuing to grow through the various historical ages of Feyron and may yet “ripple” outwards to the Worlds Beyond touched by magic.

~* Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads *~

Enter the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chase Blackwood is Visiting!

Tears of a Heart

“Tears of a Heart” (Kan Savasci Cycle Book 1) by Chase Blackwood

Published on… 15 September 2014
Published as… Literary Fantasy, Coming of Age

About the Book

A continent on the verge of war.
A boy who is destined to become a legend.
A truth waiting to be uncovered.

A powerful coming-of-age tale of a young man destined to become one of the most powerful men Verold has ever known.

It’s a unique tale of adventure, adversity, and strength. Written with the hand of a poet and the heart of a warrior. The book’s action and depth will astound as the reader delves deeper into the masterful world painted in detailed strokes.

Buy the Book at Amazon

About the Author

The author has had the fortune of traveling since an early age. This led to years spent abroad, in a variety of fields. Learning languages rather quickly, the author used that advantage in studying martial arts, culminating in training under a number of masters in the orient for a few years.

Nearly 50 countries visited and having lived in a half a dozen others, these experiences have shaped his writing, allowing for greater depth and more vivid imagery, along with an understanding of the human condition.

He spent time conducting research in the field of Biotech, worked as a physical trainer, martial arts instructor, worked with an orthopedic physical therapist, and has enjoyed the field of health for nearly two decades.

The author has earned a few college degrees, served in the U.S. Military, and as a Federal Agent. Writing however has always been one of his passions, and the author has never once let down the pen.

~* Website * Blog * Twitter *~

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Martha Reynolds is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Best Seller

“Best Seller” by Martha Reynolds

Published on… 27 June 2014
Published as… General Fiction/Coming of Age

Martha Reynolds’ Top Ten Coming of Age Stories

1. The Catcher in the Rye
2. Go Ask Alice
3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
4. To Kill a Mockingbird
5. The Yearling
6. She’s Come Undone
7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
8. The Age of Miracles
9. Tell the Wolves I’m Home
10. Orphan Train (currently reading)

About the Book

Set in New England at the time of the American Bicentennial, BEST SELLER is the poignant story of a displaced young woman struggling to figure out who she is within the context of her hometown and the carefully masked dysfunction of her family.

“Everything can be fixed by writing a check.” Words to live by for Robin Fortune’s wealthy father, until he can’t buy her way back into college after she’s expelled for dealing pot. Now he chooses not to speak to her anymore, but that’s just one of the out-of-whack situations Robin’s facing. At nineteen, she feels rudderless, working in a diner by day and sleeping with a buddy from high school by night – all so strange for her because she was always the one with the plan. While her college friends plotted how to ensnare husbands, she plotted a novel, which she scratched out into a series of spiral-bound notebooks she hides in the closet. But now, there’s nothing. No vision, no future, no point. In fact, the only thing she feels she has to look forward to is that her favorite author, Maryana Capture, is paying a visit to the local Thousand Words bookstore. Robin surmises that if she can convince Maryana to help her get her novel published, she’ll finally get herself back on track. Except that life never takes a straight path in this intensely satisfying coming-of-age novel.

Buy the Book at Amazon

About the Author

Martha Reynolds Author Photo
Martha Reynolds ended an accomplished career as a fraud investigator and began writing full time in 2011. She is the author of five novels, including the award-winning Chocolate for Breakfast (her debut novel), Chocolate Fondue, Bittersweet Chocolate, and the Amazon #1 bestseller Bits of Broken Glass. Best Seller is her latest release. Her essays have appeared in Magnificat magazine.

She and her husband live in Rhode Island, never far from the ocean.

~* Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Pinterest *~

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Raphyel M. Jordan is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Evaluations of the Tribe

Evaluations of the Tribe

Published on…15 November 2013
Published as…Science Fiction/Coming of Age

Raphyel’s Boom Baby Blast

1. One Random Fact: I had blueberry granola pancakes from J. Christopher’s…for lunch. Genius.

2. Fictional Character You’d Really Like to Be: Easy. Forge from the X-Men. I’ll be able to make anything out of, well…anything!

3. Your Authorial Theme Song: What? We got theme songs now!? Nobody told me. My novels have theme songs, though. That’s good enough for me.

4. Favorite Part of Being a Writer: Actually, I like the pre-gaming part of it, truth be told. All the research that you do in order to build the universe your characters and readers are going to dwell in…

5. Name of Your First Pet (Can include family or significant others…): Sunshine. She was a black lab. I know. A play on words.

6. Music, Television or Silence While Writing: (Singing) “Music Makes Me Lose Control! Music Makes Me Lose Control!”

7. Early Riser or Night Owl: Party hearty on ‘til the break of dawn.

8. Favorite Season: Autumn, with its colors, and the weather, and the food, and the beers, and the clothes, and the holidays…yeah…

9. Did You Always Want to be a Writer: Actually, no. I wanted to be an animator growing up, always having wanted to bring my characters to life. Even so, I’ve written adventures for my creations, as far back as learning how to write a basic sentence. So, in that sense, I guess writing was always in me, even when I didn’t even realize it.

About the Book

You Learn. You Work. You Fight.

In spite her age, Aly should be the ideal Goolian combatant in her tribe. Her reaction time is faster than any adult. Her agility is off the charts, and she’s one of the top ranked sparring students in the entire village. If she could just fire a single beam of energy from her palms, like everyone else on her homeworld, she wouldn’t get pushed around, harassed in class, or long for acceptance. The Evaluations, however, can change that. If she can be the last one standing in a dangerous rite of passage that will put her years of training to the ultimate test, she’ll finally prove her worth to her people. Anything less, and she’ll be the local outcast for the remainder of her life.

There’s another person in the tribe longing for the same prize due to a similar dilemma, and it will take all of Aly’s strength to defeat her. There’s only one small problem. That person happens to be her best friend.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords

View the Trailer at YouTube

About the Author

Raphyel M. Jordan Author Photo

Raphyel Montez Jordan grew up in a household sensitive to the creative arts. As a child, his hobbies were drawing favorite cartoon and video game characters while making illustrated stories. This passion for art never left and followed him all the way up to his high school and college years.

It wasn’t until college when he underwent a personal “renaissance” of sorts that Jordan took his interest in writing to another level. When he was 19, he started writing a novel for fun, taking inspiration from the constant exposure of different ideas and cultures that college showed him while staying true to the values he grew up to embrace. However, when the “signs of the times” influenced the story and the characters to spawn into universes of their own, he figured he might possibly be on to something.

As he studied graphic design at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia, Jordan also used his electives to study sciences like Astronomy, Psychology, and Biology in order enhance the reading experience in his story. He eventually made it a goal to have the story published after he graduated, and dubbed the goal “Operation Prosia,” the very same project that would develop into his first published book, “Prossia.”

Even though his novel is not necessarily a religious book, Jordan utilizes his Christian faith by urging people to encourage, not condemn, in his story. Best known for ending his PSFC newsletters with “Unity Within Diversity,” he hopes “Prossia’s” success will inspire people to consider and support the positive outlook in the difference human kind can share, whether it be race, religion, or any other cultural difference.

~* Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads *~

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Prossia by Raphyel M. Jordan

Prossia

by Raphyel M. Jordan

Giveaway ends December 31, 2013.

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