Book Review: Saven: Deception by @SiobhanDavis


Title: Saven: Deception

Series: Book One of the Saven Novels

Author: Siobhan Davis

Published Date: December 23rd, 2015

Audience: YA

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian


Blurb from Good Reads:

THE TRUTH DOESN'T ALWAYS SET YOU FREE

I’ve fallen hard for an alien, but he’s harboring secrets.
Massive secrets that threaten the very essence of humanity.
How can I give him my heart when his race plans on taking my future?

Sadie Owens has been slowly dying inside. Bit by bit, piece by piece, day by day. Trapped in a life she hates, she relies on only one person—herself.

Despised by her family and betrayed by an unscrupulous government, Sadie dreams of a different life. When she is chosen to participate in the government’s new social experiment, she is ecstatic at the prospect of spending six months in Thalassic City, the shiny new city under the sea.

Immediately drawn to Logan Chandler, Sadie is captivated by the beautiful boy with the ocean-blue eyes. Logan seems to embody everything that has been forbidden, but he isn’t all he appears to be.

Confused over Logan’s true intentions and concerned when best friend Jenna starts transforming in front of her eyes, Sadie partners with newcomer Jarod in a bid to uncover the government’s real agenda. The truth is more shocking than anything she could ever have imagined.

When Sadie finally understands why the Saven walk among us, will it be too late to save her heart and the human race?


My Review:

Saven: Deception has the makings of a great Sci-Fi novel – corrupt government, aliens, abductions, mystery, but all of that is overshadowed by the romance (I know, I can’t believe I just said that either). A romance, I might add that was just too weird, but I’ll get on that more later.

I’m going to start with the world building – fantastic. A good dystopian pulls issues from modern society and exaggerates them to their extremes. In the case of Saven: Deception, Davis takes our modern social-class issues and amplifies them to where the inner circle/ bullion's (upper class) have freedoms and luxuries while the outer circle/ stars (lower class) are oppressed in the most extreme measures bordering on slavery. The underwater city was so creative, but I felt that the story could have been better if Sadie were more keen to discover its secrets before the romance began.

“There are so many things about this new life I don’t understand, except for the acknowledgement that fear goes hand in hand with ignorance.” – Saven: Deception, Siobhan Davis

Davis’ pacing was excellent and I enjoyed how we – the reader – are given nuggets of information throughout the story, leaving you begging to know what’s happening beyond the romantic drama between Sadie and Logan.

Throughout the first 1/3 of the book, I was wondering when the aliens who were featured in the prologue going to come into play - I would have known if I had re-read the blurb before reading, but I'm going to consider my mistake a perk. The beginning, was mostly world building and character building for the main character, Sadie. It took a while for the real reason the aliens were among us to come to light (other than hooking up and making the main character fall in love you them). But, when they did show up, it was fare more interesting than I imagined. From what little is known, the Saven are an fascinating race and their reasons/ actions are equally horrendous and logical (for them not us). I’m not sure about certain things and I hope the following books will explain more.

If you read the book, you'll see what I did here. :D

If you read the book, you'll see what I did here. :D

Sadie, like her romance arc, is a product of two extremes. In the beginning of the story she’s totally reserved and a bit of a doormat, which I totally believe due to her environment and family dynamics. I also believe that a girl like Sadie would jump at any chance to leave her home and experience life and while on this new adventurous path, decide to become a better version of herself. What I didn’t believe about this was the way Sadie’s character arc progressed once she was settle in her new environment, the change was instantaneous. There was no naturally progression of Sadie’s personality evolution (except maybe one or two internal dialogue moments).

I think it was that dramatic change that turned me off to Sadie. Not that I hated who she was before or after the big personality switch-a-roo, but it just didn’t seem real to me. That change coupled with her tendency to be a little dramatic when it came to Logan…

“I was right all along. No one like him would ever be interested in someone like me despite the relaxation of the laws. It was more than naïve to allow myself to wallow in the dream: it was destructive on a massive scale.” – Saven: Deception, Siobhan Davis

… and this little nugget that I just couldn’t swallow…

“I’ve never vomited before.” I’m not sure why I felt the need to explain that. “It’s an experience I’d rather not repeat.” – Saven: Deception, Siobhan Davis

… added together just made her hard for me to really connect with. I mean, who has NEVER thrown up before? NEVER? In all your 17 years of life? Beyond her faults, Sadie is a strong female heroine who is loyal to her friends. She has strength of mind and character which pushes her to better herself beyond the lot she’s given in life. When she’s not blinded by love/lust, she’s intelligent and clever. I hope those traits are highlighted as her story continues.

Then there is Logan. Let me start off by saying that I feel like he was a very real character to me, especially after his history was revealed and I liked him as a main character – although, I don’t like him as a love interest for Sadie. He started off sweet and a little sappy and then drama happens and he’s a jerk. More drama and he’s sweet. More drama and he’s a jerk again. Then surprise, surprise he’s sweet again.

“I’ve never let any guy in. You’re the first one I even dared to like. But you play with my feelings like they aren’t real.” – Saven: Deception, Siobhan Davis

I get his reasons. They’re good ones, I suppose, but he just comes off as domineering and disrespectful to Sadie. IE: boxing her in, grabbing her and forcing her to talk to him. That’s taking the alpha male romantic trope too far and tip-toeing into creepsville, but it’s all cool in Sadie’s mind because he smells good and their connection is too irresistible.

Which brings me to the romance… I adore first loves. ADORE THEM. Especially the ones with major chemistry - they are always wild, unpredictable, and all-encompassing. One never forgets them. That is why I totally believe Sadie’s emotional roller-coaster when it comes to Logan. Honestly, everything about how she reacts to Logan is spot on until they’re in close proximity. That is when she completely loses her mind, becoming a slave to an aggressive physical and emotional attraction that takes away her free-will and I find it a little appalling.

**** SPOILERS AHEAD ****

Davis explains this attraction as them being Eterno or soulmates and although I’m a firm believer in soul mates myself – I don’t approve of the notion that having one automatically makes you so attractive and irresistible that you can ignore negative personality traits or for the attraction to be so over powerful that you feel compelled to do whatever the other says. That is my BIG issue with the romance in Saven: Deception.

**** SPOILERS ENDED ****

Anyway...

The side characters are great from what little is learned about them. The only one I felt any real connection to was Jarod who - as a result - was my favorite, but I think he would have been even if the others were more developed. He had a complex story that was far more interesting than any of the others. I hope in the coming books, there will be more backstory and depth to the others.

Going back and re-reading my review, it kind of sounds like I hated it, but I really didn’t. The story has a great concept with great writing and pacing. There were plenty of twists to keep me interested beyond the love story and a cliffhanger ending that made me say “What the crap?” in a good way. I will have to read the next one because I don’t like when there are BIG loose ends to a story – especially when the poo hits the fan.

Net Galley provided a copy of The Spaceship Next Door in exchange for an honest review.


Book Review: Gyre by Jessica Gunn


Title: Gyre

Series: Book One of the Atlas Link Series

Author: Jessica Gunn

Published Date: February 1st, 2016

Audience: New Adult

Genre: Science Fiction, Action Adventure


Blurb from Good Reads:

Chelsea didn’t try to teleport. All she wanted was to play the Battle of the Bands show. But after accidentally teleporting onto classified Navy vessel SeaSatellite5, all she’s rocking is the boat. 

Once it’s sorted out that Chelsea’s not a threat, SeaSat5’s top scientist offers Chelsea a position on the crew as an archaeology intern. Dr. Saint studies people with powers, believing them to be descendants of Atlantean refugees, except Chelsea’s powers are beyond anything on previous record. 

While great for everyone else onboard, the miracle of Chelsea is Trevor’s worst nightmare. The same girl who’d given him a brief lifeline to sanity three months ago literally fell from the sky, under a mile of ocean, and onto the very station where he’s employed. Making matters worse, Trevor’s family are Lemurians, Atlantis’s enemy, and Chelsea’s presence is unpredicted—a wrench in an already unstable situation. But Trevor wants no part of his family’s war. The only thing he wants is Chelsea, Atlantean or not. 

Days into Chelsea’s sudden appearance, SeaSatellite5 uncovers Atlantean ruins and a massive artifact cache, placing its entire, hundred-man crew in the crosshairs of an ancient war. There are those who want the Atlantean relics inside the ruins destroyed, and only Trevor knows the treasures for what they really are: Link Pieces, tools used by the ancient civilizations for their time-travel war. 

With lies and shifting alliances abound, Chelsea and Trevor will have to think fast in order to save the station. If they don’t, the Lemurians will seize the artifacts and Atlantis will be destroyed forever


My Review:

Gyre is a science/ archaeological fiction with a New Adult twist. The blurb really drew me in. A love story – Teleporting –  Atlantis –Ancient Wars – Mystery…

First of all, one of the main characters - Chelsea. Oh Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea… I’ll admit that I really didn’t like her at the beginning and it was all because of her inner musings about her ex-boyfriend.

“But who was really at fault? Lexi for convincing my boyfriend to cheat on me, or me letting it happen?” – Gyre, Jessica Gunn

Really? REALLY? We’re going to let this female lead, who is supposed to be a badass sit there and let the misogynic oppression of “it’s always the girls fault” when it comes to sexual deviance. Give me a break. She had one more inner breakdown of her awesomeness regarding his bully-of-a-ex-best-friend, but thankfully it was written more as a turnaround moment versus an “I’m going to blame myself” mentality.

Once things started to happen, I could see in Chelsea what I always want to see in a female lead – strength through perseverance. My absolutely favorite moment, which made her such a real and earnest character to me, was when she was faced with a choice of her life or others and for once, the hero struggled. She honest to God, couldn’t decide if she wanted to throw her life away. It was blissfully real and amazing.

Trevor, who shares narration with Chelsea in alternating chapter point of views, is really not my type of hero/love interest and it has NOTHING to do with his geek status. I fly my geek flag high and even married a computer nerd, so… yeah. Honestly, he was just a wishy-washy big ball of corn puffs.

“Because Valerie didn’t know the very enemy we’d been warned about just waltzed aboard the SeSatellite5… and into my heart.” – Gyre, Jessica Gunn.

Awwww… barf. And when he’s not a corny bleeding heart, he really isn’t a good scientist either and it seems like he’s just oblivious to everything and everyone around him – even his love interest. That doesn’t make him a swoon-worthy guy in my opinion.

The two things that saved this book for me was the plot and Gunn’s writing.

First of all, I haven’t read such a solid story in a long time. According to Gunn’s acknowledgement page, she put three years into this story and it shows. I really enjoyed her take on the Atlantian/ time travel with the addition of super powers. It was really flawless story telling.

And her writing (although quite a bit of Trevor’s was just clichéd) is beautiful. Her descriptions are fluid and vivid enough I felt like I was feeling what the characters were feeling.

“Her cheeks grew brighter. I loved that blush, craved it as a kind of twisted reminder of the night we met. Her face, a lighthouse guiding me to sanity, flushed from cold and adrenaline. It was the night my life changed course.” – Gyre, Jessica Gunn.

Gunn’s writing verges on the poetic.

“The butterflies in my stomach evolved into fireflies, lit with a low buzz. Swarming. Igniting.” – Gyre, Jessica Gunn.

Overall, Gyre is a book I would recommend with a disclaimer. Personally, I didn’t feel like I couldn’t get enough or so wrapped up that I dreaded putting my Kindle down which is why it gets three stars instead of four. Maybe if I were in a different mood when I read Gyre, I would love it more than I did.


Net Galley provided a copy of The Spaceship Next Door in exchange for an honest review.

Reveal: Blurb for Shift

Hello my beauties!

I hope you've enjoyed my book reviews so far. I have one planned for each Friday until mid-April. The review's I've done so far as brought in some extra attention to my blog and social media pages, so I think I'm heading in the right direction with this one.

There isn't much to update on the writing front. Life seems to be leveling out on me, so I should be able to get back to my regular schedule. I may have an concrete release date by the end of the month. So far, it's looking to be around April. :D  Anyway... here's a little something to tide you over. XXXX


Shift, the final book of The Caelian Cycle

Chaos is what rules Sadie’s life. Separation, lies, and an overpowering Talent have pushed her fragile sanity to the breaking point. Without Kian to fall back on, Sadie has to learn that her strength comes from within – as well as from those she loves. Just when Sadie begins to attain some stability, the true nature of her Talent reveals itself, causing her world to shift.

War is on the horizon. Tensions are rising at an exponential pace between the US government and the Caelian citizens of America ever since the exploits of the HPC were exposed. Communities are being torn apart. The United States is on the brink of another civil war. Mistrust, hatred, and fear are the fuel behind the violence plaguing its citizens. Something needs to shift.

Peace is what unites the HCA and the Caelian families who strive for positive change. Some progress is being made, until Miles Koenig reveals his master plan 20 years in the making. Hoping to enact change and unify the nation, Sadie embarks on a dangerous mission not only to stop her grandfather, but to transform the pending war into a revolution for peace.

Everything is going to SHIFT


There you have it. Basically, things are going DOWN. Can't wait to get the cover ready to reveal and hopefully have a firm release date - I know there are at least four of you who are itching for a conclusion. :D

Stay Awesome!


Book Review: The Killer Contract Agency


Title: The Killer Contract Agency

Author: Jessica Samuels

Published Date: November 30th, 2015

Audience: Young Adult

Genre: Science Fiction/ Fantasy/ Paranormal


Blurb from Good Reads:

Salina Sinclair hunts Malians, an alien species that preys on weak teenagers, making them crazy enough to kill themselves. But after being nearly burned alive by one, Salina is contacted by The Killer Contract Agency. Wielding the powers of The Bracelet and with her mentor, Carter, by her side, she exacts her revenge by taking out the Malians responsible for her near death.

But something big is happening with the Agency and operatives are dying. Will she find out what it is before it's too late, or will the Agency be destroyed?


My Review:

This review is going to be short and sweet because it really hurts me to write it. Truly, I’ve been fretting over it for days now. I didn’t want to be the first person to leave a review on this books Good Reads or Amazon links because I wanted the author to have that elated feeling of getting a good review. I remember how it felt with my first book and it is an amazing feeling. I also remember the gut wrenching hurt of getting a one-star review as well.

Just like Jessica Samuels, I am an independent author and like her my success thrives on getting good reviews. However, in order to get them you have to have a quality product and The Killer Contract Agency just wasn’t it.

There wasn’t a thing I liked about this book and that’s saying something because I ALWAYS try to find something positive. The plot was all over the place. The characters were flat and were childish – even the adult characters. The writing was juvenile – full of grammar and spelling mistakes.

“I knew that Laurice was behind it, since she was jealous of me for stupid reason. It was always her, and no one else. No one could hurt me this badly and get away with it, especially not her. I hated her for a reason, and I really wanted her to pay. How could she do this to me?” – The Killer Contract Agency, Jessica Samuels.

That was one of the good examples. When I chose to review this book, nothing about the cover art or blurb really drew me in. I honestly chose it because Jessica Samuels is an indie author who didn’t have any reviews for her book and I wanted to give her a chance. Now, I really wish I hadn’t.

A huge part of me wants to give her two stars, but honestly the second one would really be a pity-star.

I chose to read this book as a part of review tour through YA Bound Book Tours.

YA Bound Book Tours

Book Review: The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette


Title: The Spaceship Next Door

Author: Gene Doucette

Published Date: December 22nd 2015

Audience: Young Adult

Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery

Blurb from Good Reads:

The world changed on a Tuesday.
When a spaceship landed in an open field in the quiet mill town of Sorrow Falls, Massachusetts, everyone realized humankind was not alone in the universe. With that realization, everyone freaked out for a little while.
Or, almost everyone. The residents of Sorrow Falls took the news pretty well. This could have been due to a certain local quality of unflappability, or it could have been that in three years, the ship did exactly nothing other than sit quietly in that field, and nobody understood the full extent of this nothing the ship was doing better than the people who lived right next door.
Sixteen-year old Annie Collins is one of the ship’s closest neighbors. Once upon a time she took every last theory about the ship seriously, whether it was advanced by an adult, or by a peer. Surely one of the theories would be proven true eventually—if not several of them—the very minute the ship decided to do something. Annie is starting to think this will never happen.
One late August morning, a little over three years since the ship landed, Edgar Somerville arrived in town. Ed’s a government operative posing as a journalist, which is obvious to Annie—and pretty much everyone else he meets—almost immediately. He has a lot of questions that need answers, because he thinks everyone is wrong: the ship is doing something, and he needs Annie’s help to figure out what that is.
Annie is a good choice for tour guide. She already knows everyone in town and when Ed’s theory is proven correct—something is apocalyptically wrong in Sorrow Falls—she’s a pretty good person to have around.
As a matter of fact, Annie Collins might be the most important person on the planet. She just doesn’t know it.


My Review

This book a mixture of everything I love to read.

Aliens. Teenagers. Conspiracies. Mind-screwing craziness. Plus, a rather surprising twist I wasn’t expecting, but I love, love, loved it. The only thing not in the book was a romantic plot (I love me some romance), but this story really didn’t need it.

The Spaceship Next Door is a science fiction novel about a spaceship landing in a small US town. That’s it. It just lands. No communications. No death by laser ray guns. No big alien invasion. It sits in the middle of a field and does nothing…. Or does it?

The story centers on Annie, a sixteen-year-old girl who is by far one of my favorite fiction characters. Not only does she actually act like a sixteen-year-old, she is completely unlike most Young Adult heroines. She doesn’t have boys chasing her, she isn’t awkward, or full of angst. She is intelligent, feisty, strong-willed, with a humor that really showcases her wit and maturity.

“They called it anti-rape class because that was what it was. Annoyingly, while the girls were in that course, nobody was teaching the boys’ course called don’t be a rapist.” - The Spaceship Next Door, Gene Doucette

Annie is who I wanted to be when I was a sixteen-year-old. I reiterate - I LOVE HER! However, she wasn’t the only well-developed character. There were so many - from the solider Sam to her employer/ government agent Ed to her socially awkward best friend Violet. Every character gets a chance to have a bit of their story woven throughout the plot. For example:

“Rick was the first local kid roughly Annie’s age that had a self-evident drinking problem. It didn’t seem possible for someone so young to exhibit alcoholic tendencies, but by most accounts, Rick had his first beer when he was twelve and hadn’t stopped drinking since.”  - The Spaceship Next Door, Gene Doucette

By the time the action picked up (which began around the 23% mark, but really didn’t pick up till after 50%), I felt connected to each character. For me, I can forgive most anything in a book if the characters are amazing.

This is where I’m going to start with the one thing I just didn’t like: the authors writing style and language. It was awkward to me at times and very wordy to where I began to wonder what I was reading and felt my eyes glaze over. Mind you, this was before the aforementioned 50% mark. Everything after was well-paced and solid. Mr. Doucette is a wordsmith and it was that which charmed me with beautiful descriptions and a sly humor that kept me chuckling.

“The plaza was kind of typical for the region, which was to say it was a pavement-heavy consumer oasis that made everyone a little sad about capitalism”  - The Spaceship Next Door, Gene Doucette

I have mixed feelings about the ending. A part of me felt like it was too fast and a little anti-climactic with all the CRAZY happening, but I also feel very satisfied by how everything turned out. Especially since he tied up almost every loose end. Almost, I mean there were ALIENS on Earth. There should have been a little more excitement.

Over all, The Spaceship Next Door is a fun read. If you like witty, well developed characters with a solid plot filled with sarcasm and stunning depictions of scenery and history – then this is the story for you.

A solid 4 spaceships. *wink* See what I did there? 

Net Galley provided a copy of The Spaceship Next Door in exchange for an honest review.

January: an update

Hello Beautiful People!

Hi! How are ya?

Well... I have been in a bit of a writing slump lately. January is ALWAYS the worst month for me - seriously. Life is overwhelming right now and that is after I have all the other "new year" things to deal with. The beginning of the year has always been full of too much LIFE STUFF that I can never seem to find the time or motivation to do anything besides make sure the kids are being taking care of and well... exist.

However, things have been looking up. There has been a huge re-working of our daily schedules that made me fall behind on my word count goals so sadly, I will probably have to push back SHIFT's release until April 2016

Fear not! All the Tyner's are adjusting and *fingers crossed* everything will be OKAY.

With the extra time until SHIFT's release, I have some cool things planned that will (hopefully) pump everybody up. Those things are Shh-Shh-Secrete-Quite. However I can tell you that in the next few weeks, I will be able to get the blurb (maybe have the playlist ready) and have a cover reveal for SHIFT - so that's awesome.

Finally, I decided to host a few book tours on the site. Not a whole bunch because ain't nobody got time for that. I've been considering this for a while because I want to help promote other self-published authors and to be transparent - the traffic to my site wouldn't hurt. Also, I'd like to read and review the books that interest me.

Love you guys! Here's to February 2016 arriving with it's 29 days of getting my life back in order. I CAN DO THIS!

Stay Awesome!!!

 

2015: A Year in Review

Hello Beauties!

This year has been crazy. There have been blissful highs and some craptastic lows, but if I had to give 2015 a label it would be: BEGINNINGS. There had been more than a fair share of drama this past year (which for an introvert is like THE WORST). HOWEVER, other than having a house that wouldn’t stop breaking, raising/homeschooling an emotional 4-year-old and his “needs an anger management therapist” 2-year-old sister, and enough external family issues that Jerry would probably book us for a few episodes… There was one constant through it all:

My writing. 2015 has been the year of writing for me and that is the biggest and most satisfying beginning of 2015. I finally realized my dream! 2015 is the first year since I started writing that I said to myself “I WILL PUBLISH”.  

Publishing Lost has been one of my greatest accomplishments and it has also been a huge learning experience. Never would I have ever expected the amount of work outside actual writing there would be. Marketing has been a thorn in my side, but I have eventually navigated the waters and overcame an almost crippling fear of putting myself out there. (Mind you this is all online – talk to me about my books in person and I’ll clam up and blush fire)!

2015 has been the year of:

  •          131,000 words written
  •          432 book related emails
  •          180ish new followers on Twitter & Facebook
  •          104 novels read
  •          33 Blog posts – which is more than I have EVER written
  •          5 solid NEW ideas for upcoming novels
  •                3 finished books
  •                1 W.I.P.
  •         0 sanity - which I'm considering an accomplishment

2015, on a personal front:

  •        Two healthy, intelligent children who grow every day
  •        A husband who continues to be supportive and amazing
  •        3 family camping trips
  •        A newly acquired camper which will allow us the ability to do more in 2016
  •        Sadly, less time and motivation for the gym.

Overall, 2015 has been a success (although I really need to take time for fitness again). The week after Christmas is the time to look back on our accomplishments and take that momentum to push further in the following year.

May 2016 be the best year yet! 

Stay Awesome in 2016!!!


Cover Reveal: Redeem, The Caelian Cycle #2.5


Hello Beautiful People!

I have been waiting for weeks to share this cover with you and I'm so exited to get it out there. If you haven't guessed or read the blurb yet, this novella is from Kian's point-of-view and it's set before Lost. I wrote this novella because there are events that happen in the third novel, Shift, that needed some background. Plus, I felt Kian needed a bit more explanation of his actions in Lost and, personally, I wanted the readers to understand why he is who he is. 

Redeem ripped some hard emotions out of me and I feel it came across in the story and although I haven't finished Shift yet, Redeem has been one of my favorite stories I have ever written.

So here it is people, Redeem:

It took me FOREVER to find a male model that even remotely looked like Kian does in my head and then it took EVEN LONGER to find one that was wearing clothes. LOL!!!

It took me FOREVER to find a male model that even remotely looked like Kian does in my head and then it took EVEN LONGER to find one that was wearing clothes. LOL!!!

Redeem - A Caelian Cycle Novella #2.5

A boy without a voice.

A teen without a home.

A man without hope.

Kian knows the way his life is headed will be the death of him. It doesn’t matter how many criminals he catches for Gordon's Bounty Detective Agency or how deep he tries to fall into the bottle – those eyes haunt him. All it took was one whisper of bad advice, one wrong choice, one mistake, to wipe out years of confidence he had struggled to build while living on his Grandmother’s farm. Then Kian found the box of files overflowing with unsolved crimes. Those cold cases jolted his soul from its vegetative state and awakened his resolve. Kian knew those cases were meant for him to solve, but the last thing he expected to find within a few wrinkled folders was his ultimate redemption.

Release Date: January 18th, 2016

Stay Awesome!


Redeem Playlist

Hello Beautiful People.

Guess what? I have seen the cover for Redeem and it looks fabulous! Kian looks amazing and I can't wait to share it with you guys, but Y'ALL will have to wait until December 28th. I'm doing a cover reveal with YA Bound Book Tours, so check your favorite book blog - it may be featured. 

Redeem doesn't have a firm release date, but I'm hoping to get it to you by January 25th 2016.

But until then, I will leave you with the playlist for Redeem. This list is a bit different than from the other two novels. It has a lot more guitars and deeper lyrics than what I have listened to with Lost or Bound. It is probably because the pro-tag is male in this one, but the songs are definitely a direct result of his issues that differ than Sadie's.  

Redeem - A Caelian Cycle Novella Playlist

  • Jars of Clay -  Loneliness & Alcohol (Jt Daly Remix)
  • Blue October - Bleed Out
  • Red - Darkest Part
  • Matthew and the Atlas - Out of the Darkness
  • The Silent Comedy - Bartholomew
  • Art of Dying - Get Through This
  • We As Human - Bring to Life
  • Beck - Blue Moon
  • Wolf Rider - For You
  • Shinedown - Unity

Stay Awesome!

Christmas Anxiety

Hello Beautiful People,

Every year, I enter the holiday season with mixed emotions. For example, I am always ridiculously saddened by the thought of a year ending, but in the same breath, bouncing in my seat excited to see what the new year will bring.

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but I struggle with anxiety. Usually it comes in the form of worrying about random things until I feel like I can control whatever messed up scenario my brain has concocted at the moment and usually it is very morbid. Such as last night, my family was riding home after a lovely dinner with my grandparents. We had Christmas music blaring. We were singing off key and in order to keep my two-year-old awake for the 20-minute ride home, I had the lights on and was encouraging her to dance to the music just like mommy. Well, at one point during the merriment my brain decided to throw in this random gem “If we had a car crash right now, I’m glad this will be the kids last memory of me.”

Whoa. Right? Welcome to my mind.  

Those random thoughts will sometimes just spike my anxiety for a few seconds or more often send me into a few spiraling minutes of obsessing over details, but there are times my anxiety stems from my own personality.

I write YA and love to read YA books (and more recently I’ve been enjoying a few “adult” paranormal novels). Everyone who has read the genre knows of at least one character who’s introverted. It seems to be a thing just like red haired girls and alpha males. Although, the introverted trope attached to many main characters sticks to the same “I’m a shy, loner who prefers books to people and hates being in crowds” theme who I’m sure many introverted people can relate to, it is not how I relate to being introverted.

Sure, I seriously do prefer books to 95% of humanity and I definitely can identify as a loner at times, but that is not who I am. There isn’t much that is “shy” about me. I’m quiet (until you get to know me) and I’m introspective, but I do know how to be in a crowd and will sometimes enjoy it - although how long I last before I’m ready to recede to my cave is another matter altogether.

My identity as an introvert stems from my desire to limit my time with people who don’t rank high on my importance scale and spend my limited social energy on those who truly matter to me. So here’s my Christmas dilemma… every year, I am excited for Christmas. For the family. The food. The presents. The joy on my kids (and nieces/ nephews) faces. It’s ALL super awesome. BUT I hate it all the same.

Christmas is just that time of year where everyone expects a large piece of your time/energy and you feel obliged to give it. It's the season for giving after-all. There is not enough “me time” to recharge so I can get back out there and be a smiling bundle of Christmas joy. Instead by the time Christmas rolls around, I’ve been pulled in so many directions and obligated to do so many activities that I am a veritable Grinch.

Which is another thing I hate.

So this year, I have been using my “say no if I really don’t want to” rule that I enforce throughout the rest of the year. It’s 8 days till Christmas and I’m still feeling Merry and excited for the many Christmas celebrations still waiting. It’s been a serious improvement on my mental health and I have even been able to sneak in quite a bit of writing time (unlike every December since I started writing in Junior High).

I hope I can keep this momentum going and if you struggle with anxiety or are just an introvert struggling to stay Merry this season – don’t overwhelm yourself and try (I know it’s hard) to let those worries roll off your shoulders.

Merry Christmas and Stay Awesome!

Redeem Blurb Reveal

Hello beautiful people,

I’ve been a busy little writer last month participating in NaNoWriMo and finished by the seat of my pants at the very end. It was so hard to finish on before the month ended and this time, the reason for my procrastination is Netflix, specifically JESSICA JONES. The husband and I are in so much obsessive love with that show.

Anyway… Since then, I have finished my first round of copy edits and the manuscript is now with my beta readers. The stars are aligning perfectly with my copy editor and cover artists and right now it looks like you guys could get a copy by mid-January. WOOT!

Until then, I will tease your little hearts out. *insert evil laugh* Beginning with the blurb below. Enjoy!


Redeem – A Caelian Cycle Novella

A boy without a voice.

A teen without a home.

A man without hope.

Kian knows the way his life is headed will be the death of him. It doesn’t matter how many criminals he catches for Gordon's Bounty Detective Agency or how deep he tries to fall into the bottle – those eyes haunt him. All it took was one whisper of bad advice, one wrong choice, one mistake, to wipe out years of confidence he had struggled to build while living on his Grandmother’s farm. Then Kian found the box of files overflowing with unsolved crimes. Those cold cases jolted his soul from its vegetative state and awakened his resolve. Kian knew those cases were meant for him to solve, but the last thing he expected to find within a few wrinkled folders was his ultimate redemption.


Stay Awesome!

Giveaway: Last Day + Excerpt

Hello Beautiful People!

Today is the last day to sign up for the Bound giveaway on Goodreads. (There's a link at the bottom of this post to sign up).

Purchase Links

Amazon- http://amzn.to/1hbprvd
B&N - http://bit.ly/1JeqGmV
Kobo - http://bit.ly/1XqKISB
Smashwords - http://bit.ly/1JERQBA
iBooks - http://apple.co/1L9EI7s

 

Bound by Vengeance.
Sadie has found the resolve to fight the man who caused so much pain in her life. Her tentative alliance with the HCA underground gives her the resources to train both her body and Talent for when she comes face to face with her grandfather. 

Bound by Loss.
Being separated from her friends at St Vincent’s is harder than she could have ever realized and it doesn’t help that Kian has withdrawn from her as well. With help from a new friend, Sadie uncovers more about her past and that someone close to her has been keeping secrets from Sadie her entire life. 

Bound by Fear.
Tragedy strikes close to home, giving a longstanding enemy, one desperate and willing to do anything to have Sadie on their side, an opportunity to arise. Allies and friends come together to stand against evil, but at a terrible cost. Sadie’s history and future collide while the world is thrown into chaos. 

Sadie must overcome or forever be Bound.


Excerpt

I sniffled and uncurled my body. “You’re right.” My voice was scratchy from crying, but I was sure my face expressed that I wouldn’t continue this conversation. My response was the only concession I was allowing Kian because I wasn’t ready to go into our old argument. There was too much for me to think about.

“I’m ready to visit my friends.” I stood and stretched out my sore muscles. My eyes caught my reflection in the mirror above my dresser. Greasy strands of white hair were clumped together and hanging lifelessly around my dirt smeared face. It looked as if someone had attempted to wipe my face clean in a hurry, but didn’t get a chance to finish. If the reflection of my face was any indication, I dreaded looking at the rest of my body, but curiosity won.

I looked down and gasped. Partially healed lacerations and yellowing bruises coated my arms at irregular intervals. My white shirt was torn, exposing more of my body than I felt comfortable with, but underneath the slashes were angry red wounds that were mostly healed.

My gaze traveled further down, and at the sight of my leg, my hands covered my mouth in shock. The pant leg was sliced above the knee, cut with scissors, I assumed, due to the clean lines. Pants be dammed, it was the green and purple bruises in the exact shape and size of the chains that Link had worn around his body that drew my attention. A vision of the fight came forward and I remembered the chain he had wrapped around my leg in order to stop me.

“I look…”

“Like you survived a tough fight,” Kian answered for me.


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Bound by Donnielle Tyner

Bound

by Donnielle Tyner

Giveaway ends November 19, 2015.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Stay AWESOME!

REASONS

Hello Beautiful People!

I've been kept very busy between my oldest starting Kindergarten and my youngest refusing to be re-directed AKA distracted long enough for me to actually do any real teaching, so social networking and blogging have been put at the bottom of my list.

BUT

I have been a busy little writer. My current project: Redeem is almost complete (well the first draft is). Yay for the motivation that is NaNoWriMo!  In case you haven't heard, I decided to write a novella from Kian's perspective before the final Caelian Cycle Novel is released. From the beginning, I played with the idea of writing a novella from one of the other character's perspectives, but never really committed until I started finalizing my outline for Shift (Book 3) and I will admit, some motivational push from a few readers who have questioned Kian's motives throughout the series. 

With every character, I always write a small backstory and personality profile in order for me to make sure that each character is complex and real to the reader. I felt that Kian's backstory really needed to be told before the third book comes out. Both Sadie and Kian have BIG choices to make in the next novel.

There's a lot that goes down in Shift and a good bit of it has to do with Kian and his past with how it relates to Sadie. I felt that so far throughout the Caelian Cycle, Kian has been this presence sorta in the background, but not really because he is a big part of Sadie's life (and the book is from her perspective). But Sadie is also a big part of his life, even before one knew the other existed. In the books, Kian doesn't express much beyond what Sadie pulls out of him and there are BIG reasons for this. There are reasons for his reactions to her in the first book and for his strong reactions to certain choices she makes in the second book. The reasons add up to major plot points in the third book. 

One more time for posterity: REASONS!!!!

Moving on...

So, hang in there people. I am striving to have the novella out ASAP and will not be taking my usual two week break between writing projects in order to get the final book to you as quick as possible. :D

Stay AWESOME!

Inspiration Board - John

Hello Beautiful People!

This week has been full of excitement on the book front. I finalized lots of plans for our Caelian Crew and finally decided on a name for the Kian novella that will be released before the final installation of The Caelian Cycle. 

Writing has been hard on me lately. My family of four live in a pseudo-tiny house. Honestly, it's only 200 square feet bigger than an official tiny home - I think we deserve some credit. In order to make room for some adjustments (ie: we REALLY wanted to start having family meals), I had to move my writing nook in my bedroom. Usually that wouldn't be a big thing, but my daughter - bless her heart - will only nap in my room & she's the lightest sleeper in the history of humanity. 

That leaves me in a pickle since MY time to write is usually limited to nap time. BUT thank the stars for husbands who are SUPER AWESOME. Mr. Tyner has been coming home from work and corralling those munchkins to give me a few spare minutes a day to get some work done.

Hopefully, this will be a short lived hiccup.

Now! Back to the blog title. Today we are looking at:

John

So John is one of my favorite characters. I'm not going to lie, I have mad love for Sadie's entire crew, but John is a special blend of people who I admire for their carefree attitude - an attribute I do not have. 

First, his name - John. It's no surprise to those who know me that I would name this particular character after my crazy baby brother. John (my brother) has always been the one person who comes around and... BAM! I'm in a good mood. He is a joker, a little man-whorish - you know I love you, bro - a fighter, but mostly he's just plain good-natured. My John, works with adolescences with mental illnesses and wants to get his masters degree so he can be a therapist for autistic kids. That takes a special kind of person and I'm so incredibly proud to be his sister. 

Book John is also a mixture of a few ladies in my mommy group - JanMom's. A year ago, I went to a get-together with about 23 of the 190 ladies in our group. We've "known" each other for 5 years by this point, but I had never been in a group situation with any of them before.  Needless to say, I was petrified and I made the mistake of telling the group before catching my flight.

Now, If you ever meet me in real life, I'm reserved and bashful. Eventually, I'll warm up to you and you'd probably wish I'd shut up. But that is not the point of this story. My first day with the group, I had my personal space invaded in many MANY ways. Let's just say that when writing Lost, I think I may have subconsciously put a few things that happened in the book. 

It was probably my psyche's way of dealing with the trauma. :D

Anyway, book John has so much love and life to give that he's an intricate part of Sadie's group. He balances the group - not just with his masculinity, but his carefree nature is what probably keeps that particular group of teenage girls grounded. 

See you again next week! Stay Awesome!


Did You Miss Me?

Hello Beautiful People!

I'm baaaaaack! Our vacation to south Texas was awesome - except the whole rainy part at the end, but it's Texas and weather cannot be predicted. However, I realized two things on this vacation. 1. I really need a DSLR camera. Pictures taken on your phone just don't do the scenery justice and 2. I'm so glad I decided to set my second book series in that area because now I have a legit, tax right-off excuse to go back. Just look at this:

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park

This trip came at an awesome time because I REALLY needed a break. I've been working on some final touches on the third and final book of The Caelian Cycle's outline and finished the preliminary's on a Caelian Cycle Novella that will be released before the final book next year. YAY! 

MIND. BLOWN.

I didn't set out to write any novella's, but Kian's story kept begging to be told. (Plus, I know a few fangirls who love themselves some Kian and I aim to please).The novella is from Kian's perspective and WILL NOT contain spoilers to the series (it will have hints though), but will open up some of the mystery to Kian's past and explain some of the weirdo choices he has made throughout the series. 

This week, I will resume my weekly inspirational board posts, finishing my Caelian Crew from Lost. I haven't quite decided if I'm going to do the norms or start on the new characters from Bound to celebrate it's release next Monday. Which reminds me, this is your last week to purchase Lost for $0.99.

As always, STAY AWESOME!


So Sorry...

Hello lovelies,

I'm so sorry I haven't been active lately here or in my social media accounts. Things have been crazy around here: mom-cations, home school, and next week a family vacation.

When I get back, we will be getting on the bandwagon because Bound will be releasing soon. I'll post an excerpt and maybe a few more tidbits about the characters. Before I leave on Sunday for family vacation/ research for the next book installment (no Caelian Cycle), I'll post my inspiration board for John.

Until then, please accept my humble apologies. 

Stay Awesome!


Inspiration Board - Madison

Hello Beautiful People!

This time of year is always busy for the Tyner clan. Homeschool begins for the boy and I’m going to attempt to bring my 2-year-old in some activities – Lord help me! We also love to vacation this time of year. This weekend, I get the wonderful opportunity to go on a mom-cation with my mommy group. It will be nice to have a weekend out with the girls.

Pretty soon, we will be visiting Big Bend National Park and some of the surrounding area so be prepared for my social media to blast plenty of pictures. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to go, the area is where I will be setting my duology that will be published after I finish the Caelian cycle. 

Today we're going to look at...

Madison

Madison is probably my favorite character in Lost, but there is a new character being introduced in Bound that I adore as well and would probably have to fight for top spot. Knowing Madison, she would take me up on that offer. It’s probably narcissistic that I love Madison so much because according to those who know me, she is the one character most like my own personality.

That may or may not be so, but I do know that I didn’t base her off myself (not intentionally). Madison’s character came from the days when I worked with teenagers at my church. I had the opportunity to work with some girls who were hardened by their different lives and it was those girls who my heart spoke to the most. Each girl had a different story and each dealt with the hardships in their life from mild personality quirks to some self-destructive behavior. Madison is a version of those girls who closed themselves off from all except those closest to them and those girls who had such low self-esteem that they sought out multiple sex partners in order to fill that hole in their heart that only loving yourself can fill. I wanted to give those girls the representation they deserve.

In Bound, Madison goes through some amazing highs and incredible lows that will break down her walls and rock everything she thought she knew about herself and the world around her. My goal for each character in the Caelian cycle it to become a better version of themselves by the end of the story. 

Stay Awesome!

Dystopia vs The Caelian Cycle

Hello Beautiful People!

As an indie author, I love it when readers sends me messages about how much they enjoyed my books. Each one makes my day! But I have noticed lately a trend in the reviews, questions, and messages labeling The Caelian Cycle as a Dystopia. I’d like to explore this train of thought.

What is a Dystopia?

A Dystopia is a universe where society is under an oppressive control while the members of said society are under the illusion of a perfect control. The control usually comes in the form of one or more of the following mediums:

Corporate- one or more large corporations control society through advertising/products as in Minority Report, Blade Runner, and Wall-E.

Technological- Computers, Robots, or other man-made scientific means control society as in The Matrix or Terminator.

Religious- A philosophical or religious ideology is enforced through a dictatorship or theocratic government such as in The Handmaids Tale

Bureaucratic- Society is controlled by through an incompetent government ensnared in red tape and regulations as in 1984 and Brave New World.

Dystopia’s are an exaggerated worst-case scenario often reflecting the authors present day societal flaws, norms, or even their government. There are certain characteristics present in a dystopian society. Most always there is some form of propaganda used to control or satiate the citizens and information, freedoms, or independent thought are discouraged or restricted. Citizens in a dystopian usually live in fear, are under surveillance, and forced to live in uniformity (individuality is discouraged). But the main thing that makes a Dystopian is that society is an illusion of a perfect world.

Picture © Dylan Glynn at http://www.dylanglynn.com/utopia-dystopia/

Picture © Dylan Glynn at http://www.dylanglynn.com/utopia-dystopia/

Not all Dystopia’s have those characteristics, but most do. Although The Caelian Cycle has some attributes above, I don't feel that the series should be labeled as a Dystopia. The Caelian Cycle is my way of exploring racial discrimination through introducing a new species of human to the world, but unlike a Dystopia I am not taking that discrimination to an extreme such as a holocaust or enslavement. The Caelian Cycle is set in an alternative United States where the Caelian’s have banded together to form families that give their members education, jobs, and stability. Throughout the series you will see some similarities between the civil rights movement of the 1960’s and the struggle of racial discrimination today with the Caelian’s trying to live in equality with the “norms”.

I can see how a reader could relate the “Talent Suppression Act” and the various discriminatory acts of violence throughout the book as a bureaucratic Dystopia, but if you think about it, the laws mentioned in the book are just a reflection of the many racial segregation laws our local, state, and even federal governments held until the civil rights movement. As far as the Caelian’s living in fear because of violence against their people, well I can post articles and videos all day long on the treatment of minorities in America just in the past year alone.

If the evils, either “norm” or Caelian, in The Caelian Cycle succeed in their prospective quests then yes, The Caelian Cycle can upgrade to a Dystopia society. (You will have to see how that goes once the final book is released).

I guess you can say that The Caelian Cycle is Pre-Dystopia.

When I started marketing Lost, I labeled the book as a Young Adult Science Fiction. That in itself is a broad spectrum, but if I were to give The Caelian Cycle another sub-genre it would be an Alternative Reality Science Fiction due to the meteorite that altered the genetics of humanity during WW1 changed the future and therefore, shifted reality.

Anyway, that’s my two cents/ soap box.

Stay Awesome!

Inspiration Board - Rebecca

Hello Beautiful People!

I've received quite a few emails lately asking some questions about The Caelian Cycle. (please hold while I run around and squee) It warms my heart to see people interested in the books and characters. I will answer your questions in a blog post soon, but first here's an in-depth look at...

Rebecca 

Rebecca was a character I HAD to put in the book series. Every girl needs loyal BFF's and Sadie is lucky to have two. Her name and a few of her personality quirks are a nod to my own high school best friend who was the glue that held my sanity together during some trying times. I also borrowed a few of her traits, the ones I admire most, from my bestie and sister in law. 

To me, Rebecca is a study of opposites. She's not your typical beauty, but her siren Talent makes her attractive to others. Her personality is both sultry, but with an undertone of innocence. She's outgoing and others are drawn to her, but clings to her small group of friends instead of going out to party like Madison. If she has a strong opinion about something, she fights for it and doesn't let anyone sway her focus. Her look-at-the-bright-side attitude brightens the group and her gentle wisdom guides her friends. 

Sadie and Rebecca are connected on a deeper level than with the others in the group. They've lived together since childhood and as two of six Caelian's with colored skin at St. Vincent's, they've had a whole different set of issues than the other's.

In Bound, Rebecca will go through some life altering changes and will have to dig deep into her soul for strength that she didn't know she possessed. That is true for any person. Growth and change are always hard, but its how we handle them that makes us better or in some cases, worse. Rebecca and the others will have to grow in order to become the adults needed to change the world.

Stay Awesome!