Posted in 5 stars, Book Review, interview, netgalley

INTERVIEW: The Delphi effect by Rysa Walker

First

If you have not read my review of The Delphi Effect have no fear because the link is here.

Click to read my review of The Delphi Effect.

Now that that’s over let’s jump right in. Ladies and gentleman , Fawkes and unicorns please welcome the author of The Delphi Effect, Rysa Walker!

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Interview with Rysa Walker

Rysa Walker: Hi, Snow! First, thanks so much for inviting me to chat on your blog. I love interacting with readers :)

Happy to have you here! Let’s jump right into it.

1.       What is your favourite Young adult novel righdarkness savage.jpgt now?

Aside from my all-time favorite books that I’ve loved forever, like the Harry Potter series, my favorite book is usually the one I’m reading now. Currently, that book is Darkness Savage, the last installment in the wonderful Dark Cycle by Rachel A. Marks.  Readers who enjoy urban fantasy should definitely check this series out. I’m almost finished and loving the way the story wraps up. I was lucky to get a sneak peek, since the book releases on October 11th, the very same day as The Delphi Effect.  

2. What inspired the story?

I started writing The Delphi Effect back in spring of 2013, but then my debut book, Timebound, won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in June of that year. My new publisher, Skyscape, wanted the sequels ASAP, so I shelved Delphi for a while to focus on finishing up the CHRONOS books.

The book itself was strongly inspired by music.  My kids and I had a playlist that we always put on in the mornings on our ungodly-early drive to school.  I was on the way back from dropping them off when two songs came on back to back.  One was “42,” from my youngest son’s then-favorite album by Coldplay.  The other was “Oh, Lately It’s So Quiet,” by a group that my oldest son introduced me to a few years back, OK Go.  Both songs are about being haunted, but in very different ways.  Later that day, I sat down and wrote the first chapter of The Delphi Effect. And while I was writing it, Tegan & Sara’s 30439157“Walking with a Ghost” came on my Pandora station.

3.       Who is your inspiration?

I’m not sure that Iinspire.png could really pick just one.  Some of the people who inspire me are people I don’t even know personally, like the Dalai Lama and people who work to protect human rights like Malala Yousafzai and Myanmar leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.  I’m also inspired by people who struggle every day to work and raise their families, often as single parents. I’ve been there and I know it’s not easy.  If you’re talking literary inspiration, however, I’d have to say writers like Stephen King and Margaret Atwood rank near the top of the list.

4. What helps you to stay loyal to your characters?

I don’t have a choice.  If I fail to stay loyal to them, they stop talking to me, and then I’m in big, big trouble. I’m a little like Anna in that many of my characters are voices in my head.  I don’t plot things out so much as put those characters into the situation and see what happens.  If I try to make my characters do something that’s not organic, that doesn’t come naturally, they will go (and actually have gone) on strike. I then have to backtrack to the point where I got too bossy and rip it all
out. Then I feed them lots of chocolate as an apology and promise not be such a dictator in the future. 🙂

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5.       Which character’s voice was the hardest for you to write?

In terms of getting the voice right, Taylor was the hardest.  It was difficult to walk that fine line between her bblock.pngeing justifiably angry about the past few years and being such a whiny brat that readers couldn’t empathize with her position and would just want to smack her. 😉

But I also struggled a bit in terms of getting Anna’s voices right, strictly from a writing perspective.

There’s a lot going on in Anna’s head, especially by the end of the book, and finding a way to convey that to the readers without constantly saying “Molly thought,” “Jaden thought,” etc., was a bit of a challenge.

 

Thanks for your time!

Make sure to get your copy of The Delphi Effect and follow Rysa Walker on all the social media realms.

 

Social media links:

Twitter:  @RysaWalker

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Timebound

Website: http://www.rysa.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/walker

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/RysaWalker

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Posted in 5 stars, Book Review, interview, netgalley, YA

ARC Review: The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker

I would like to thank NetGalley and Skyscape for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Rysa Walker
Series: Book #1
Pages: 379
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy, Teens & YA
Rating: 5 stars
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Plot

It’s never wise to talk to strangers…and that goes double when they’re dead. Unfortunately, seventeen-year-old Anna Morgan has no choice. Resting on a park bench, touching the turnstile at the Metro station—she never knows where she’ll encounter a ghost. These mental hitchhikers are the reason Anna has been tossed from one foster home and psychiatric institution to the next for most of her life.

When a chance touch leads her to pick up the insistent spirit of a girl who was brutally murdered, Anna is pulled headlong into a deadly conspiracy that extends to the highest levels of government. Facing the forces behind her new hitcher’s death will challenge the barriers, both good and bad, that Anna has erected over the years and shed light on her power’s origins. And when the covert organization seeking to recruit her crosses the line by kidnapping her friend, it will discover just how far Anna is willing to go to bring it down.

My Experience:

I was hooked immediately. Nothing like hearing more than one voice inside a character’s mind to get me obsessed.

The book kicks off with Anna shivering in the cold. Freezing from a too small jacket and clutching onto the heat of a bad cup of coffee in her hand. She has a message. A message for Mr. Porter from a girl named Molly, his granddaughter. Only problem? Molly is dead.

The characters are so real. I immediately fell in love with Anna. She has such a sweet voice but at the same time, she doesn’t take nonsense. She has been getting stuck with ghosts,”Hitchers” as she calls them since she was a baby and as you can imagine this has given her a very tough skin. She can pick Hitchers up at any time since ghosts hang out by places that have their last happy memory. She will help where she can but she is not a pushover.

Metaphor for explaining how I feel about this book:

I would like you to refer to the next clip to understand my metaphor.

The yellow adorable creature is called Cheese. Cheese really likes chocolate milk and you guessed it, cereal. I will be like Cheese this month. I will jump out of people’s closets and yell:

“I like the Delphi Effect!”

I will walk into a silent library and whisper

“I like the Delphi Effect”

I will write on my exam paper

“I like the Delphi Effect”

I will stand on a mountain and yell, “I like the Delphi Effect!” and the words will echo through the mountains.

The story is fast paced and from the first page, it’s a race to get to the finish line. Be swept up by a gripping investigation story, be filled with awe by all the special abilities you find yourself surrounded with. But mostly be prepared to be offended when the book ends because you will not be ready to let go yet.

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Lucky for us we have two more books to go.

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What I liked:

I loved the element of super powers in the story. And the unique way they were hosted and used.

What I did not like:

One of the villains in the story immediately has an intense hatred for Anna. It was never explained why. That is one thing I would like to be explored further in the series.

Recommendations:

I predict big things for this book. I believe this book can be nominated for one of the best Young Adult novels of 2016. It is the Divergent of 2016. If you have any fond feelings towards the young adult genre this book can not be missed. Grab a blanket and get comfortable this is the kind of book that gets finished in one sitting.

Rating:

5 hitching snowflakes

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I was lucky enough to score an interview with the author! Keep an eye out on my page the interview will be posted soon.

Sincerely

Snow

Posted in 5 stars, Book Review, interview, YA

Review + Interview ! Inside out by Terry Trueman.

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Title: Inside Out
Author: Terry Trueman
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 117
Source: Kindle
Rating: 5

I adore books that start like this.

Bam! In the middle of a busy action scene. You don’t know where you are, what you are doing or why you are there, all you know is that you like this. You like this a lot.

(Grabs popcorn and overly charged soda.)

I had already laughed out loud 5 times and I had barely reached the second page.

Plot:

In a busy coffee shop, a robbery goes wrong. Two gunmen hold seven hostages, including teenager Zach Wahhsted. What nobody realizes at first is that Zach is anything but ordinary and his troubled mind is more dangerous than any weapon.

My experience:

Wow. Wow. Wow.

What an experience. If you have not read this book do yourself a favour and get your hands on it. This is such a powerful read.

This book deals with important issues juvenile crime, prejudice, but most importantly, mental illness.

Meet our main character, Zach. Zach is a bit different. His mind works a bit different from the way other people’s minds work, well that’s what his doctors and his mom say. So it’s probably true.

Zach finds himself in the middle of a bank robbery. He supposes he should be scared but he doesn’t think he is scared. Maybe he is?

This book is so hard to describe. So I will use a metaphor as I often do when I can’t express in words how this book made me feel experiencing the story through Zach’s eyes. The metaphor might be confusing but it’s the best way I can explain my journey with this book.

It felt like I was skating on a frozen ice pond. I felt like I could lose control anytime and slip and fall. But It was such a graceful journey I had no fear. It was a bit dark around, so all I could feel was the sense of skating and deciding whether I liked to skate or not. Then the light starts to grow brighter and I get to see my reflection. Yet it’s not the reflection I expected. It is someone vague sad and alone. I skate along feeling an urgency to help the reflection but the sensation of skating is so liberating and so I don’t feel too bad for the reflection. Then I start noticing people around me pointing at me. Some are laughing some are looking at me in utter disgust. The question in their faces is crystal clear.

Why is this person skating.?

Why is this person allowed outside the house?

 I can feel my stomach turning, I’m becoming upset. But then I realise, I am still having fun. They are strangers. I don’t need them to understand skating to have fun and glide. I then start seeing the cracks in the ice.  I start sensing the danger of this pond. There is no way to know how thick the ice really is nor how long I will be able to keep skating. As I start making my way to the edge. I feel the ice crack and I am plunged into the icy frozen water.

It’s hard to explain this story. It’s important to keep it hidden so you can discover it yourself.  Because only by digging and going through the effort of getting to know Zach will you understand the treasure buried in this book.

Quotes:

“I look around at everybody else in this place, and they all look scared, so I’m trying to look scared too.”

What I liked:

I love the character, Zach. How he is introduced to the reader and how comfortable you are reading from his point of view.

What I did not like:

I would have liked to know a bit more about the robbers and their reaction to how it all turned out in the end.

Rating for the book:

It’s the kind of book you want to have on your shelf. The kind of book you need to read and want to read again. The kind of book you have to give 5 stars to.

5 very powerful snowflakes.

*****

Interview with Terry Trueman

1. What inspired you to write about such a difficult topic?

 I have a Masters degree in Psychology and so studied this subject before working as a therapist for some years at a mental health center, but the big inspiration was losing my beloved stepson to suicide about a year after he’d been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
I have a Masters degree in Psychology and so studied this subject before working as a therapist for some years at a mental health center, but the big inspiration was losing my beloved stepson to suicide about a year after he’d been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

2. What was the most important goal you wanted to achieve with your story?

 I wanted to make a story in which a protagonist had schizophrenia but was a heroic and lovable character, to give a positive view of people with mental illness and lower the stigma with which they live.

3. What are some the most touching or important comments that you have received from people that have read Inside out?

The book was published in 2003, 13 years ago and is still available and has recently ben optioned for a possible TV movie on Starz network. I got lots of warm reviews and many personal emails thanking me for the book, but much of that happened a decade ago. I hope the movie project comes together and gives the book a boost.

4. Did Zach teach you anything while you were writing his story? If so what?

Honestly, Zach was an amalgam of myself and my stepson Eric to whom the book is dedicated and probably a few other friends/former clients with schizophrenia from years ago.. I honestly can’t say Zach “taught me” things; when I write I try to stay in pretty tight control of what’s going on, so Zach was an ongoing creation. On second thought though, trying to make his character sympathetic, despite his confusing condition, likely taught me how difficult life must be for people who suffer from mental illness.

 

Sincerely

Snow

Posted in Book Review, interview, Snow ramblings, YA

Something about an award.

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Now. Something you might not know. I love awards.

No, you don’t understand. I fight for them.

Once I helped my friend Willow, the forest elf, plan her birthday party. It was her 216th birthday (It’s a pretty big deal).

It took one whole week, one molting phoenix and I had to catch a rabbit that drank too much troll juice. It was exhausting and the only reason I did it, because one get’s an award if one helps with the planning of the 216th birthday of an elf. (Also for the 500th but that’s at least still a few years away.)

What can I say somewhere in my roots I must have some crow. I like shiny things.

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So after I was gathering some ideas in the dream valley, I returned to my cave to see some posts in my mail box. I had two nominations for an award.

I dropped my ideas and hastened inside greedy to learn more.

Now here I am, ready. I asked my friend Nancy to help out. Nancy will be asking me questions I need to answer and write down my exact response. Since I will keep changing my answer if I tried to write it down. Nancy is an owl. She has a very good memory.So I won’t have to repeat myself.  Nancy will be handling the rules and official notes that I tent to skip.

     Where the actual post about awards begin.

Thank you  @bookhuntress for nominating Snow for the Liebster award. She is very exited, happy, picky about the words that I use honored. Make sure to go look at their blog!

11 facts about Snow

I love music. Everyday I will go through every realm and find the latest songs. I listen to music of all languages. I will be bopping my head to some Portuguese rap with no idea what they are saying but I will like it. I will like it fondly.

I have many obsessions. If I like something I obsess over it. For example a person. I will first go and read up where they came from, I will go watch interviews , I will go look at connections net value. I steal strategically collect information from the mermaids.

If people look at life by sitting safely on clouds than I see life as if through a raindrop. I look at it in wonder sometimes fear but always from a different place and always putting myself in the middle of it.

I get distracted very easily. The person who interrupts me the most is myself.

One of my favourite musicians is Zayn.

I am having trouble thinking of 11 facts about Snow. I think one should be enough. Sigh.

Oh! I have one! I love Roald Dahl. I’m planning on doing a full post on this later. My love for Roald Dahl is very deep and very loyal.

I am obsessed with Coca-Cola. I’m still trying to find out a way to get them to stock it here. I have to keep going to the human realm to get the coke but I stock up on like 20 bottles a month.

Almost there I can do this… I write poetry. I have a place where I post this poetry. If you would like to see it I might post it on here. I tend to have deep thoughts I visit many realms my thoughts are peculiar.

Snow likes to talk about herself in third person. Yes, yes I do.

Questions for Snow

1. Why do you read books?

I just never got into reading stars.

2. What is your top 5 favorite books?

Too vague. Are you referring to the human realm , my realm other places where you might call it a book but it has 3 different names for the word book. I suppose I can just say that I have seasons. So I will have a book of the month. A book of the season. A book of the hour. If I were to give you my top 5 you would be here still tomorrow.

3. Give 3 least liked books and why you chose them?

I would.I would. However then I would have to admit I actually read those pieces of recycled troll droppings. Snow would rather not admit that she read those.

4. Do you drink or eat some foods while reading?

*Munches while answering these questions* I always eat and drink.

5. What is your favorite song?

The same answer as number 2. However I will tell you my favourite song of this hour.  Save Tonight by ZAYDE WOLF

6. When did you start your blog?

Technically in 2011. When did I continue the art of huddling in my cave and writing down my thoughts? About the beginning of this year.

7. What is the title of the book you last bought?

Me before you.

8. If you were a character from a book, who would you be?

What are you talking about I am a character from a book. Oh fine, I will be Fawkes from Harry Potter. He is always such a pleasant problematic little phoenix. Unlike the ones I have met.

9. Where do you buy your books?

Bargain Books is my favourite portal.

10. If you have a chance to visit a place in a story you’ve read, where will you go?

Will you be jealous if I told you I have friends that allow me to have such dreams.To truly live in the worlds that I read about…hmmm. I suppose Narnia has impressed me the most.

11. Do you play any sports? If yes, what sport is it?

No. I do not sport.

Snow’s questions for you

  1. Describe yourself using words that start with each letter in your name.
  2. Do you prefer a forest, the mountains or the ocean?
  3. What is more important for you being perceived as kind, intelligent, creative, original , powerful or mysterious?
  4. List a few songs that describes situations that you have been in. Songs that would have been playing in the background if your experiences were trailers.
  5. What have books done for you?
  6. If you could have a character of any book join you for a day in your life who would you choose?
  7. What is the first book you can remember reading.
  8. What is your favourite mythical creature?
  9. Name a song that would go with a book as a book blurb.

If you answer yes, no or one word answers… I will frown upon your answers.

Motivate yourself. Let me read you.

Do you think my questions are too intrusive or can you handle it?

I tag the following people for this award:

The one that hail from Fiction @fictionophile

The kitty from the cat realm @suekooky

The one that is wonderless  @wonderlessreview

If you love my questions (I don’t blame you. Snow thinks of amazing questions.) and you have NOT been tagged by me, feel free to comment your answers or blog a post answering these questions. Tag me I’ll feature the best answers next week. 

Sincerely

Snow

#SnowyQuestions

 

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Posted in Book Review, interview, YA

Interview with Author Michael Grant.

Well, this is my first interview that I am posting on my blog. I am very honoured that it is by one of my favourite authors, Michael Grant.

(((Michael Grant)))

 

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I had the chance to ask him a few questions over social media that he was kind enough to answer. I interviewed him about Front Lines (#1 Soldier girl) the first book in his new series. Now if you have not read this book yet, please do make a plan. However, for now, you can find my review for Front Lines here:

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Have no fear for no spoiler is near.

Interview with Michael Grant:

 

In this book there are many scenes of soldiers, men and female, singing army songs. Where did you get the army songs?

Most of the songs I made up. I use some real songs in book #2 (Silver Stars) but most of the poems, songs, etc… are my own inventions.

In one of the scenes you describe a group of people. A group of drunk men and one very sober man. What would you say is the difference between a sober man and a very sober man?

Sober men are far less likely to do something stupid.

One of the characters that stood out for me in this novel is the female Sergeant, Sergeant Mackie.  How did you go about to find the voice and heart of Sergeant Mackie? There was something about her that just made her stand out from almost all of the characters. Did you have somebody you based her character on?

No, I don’t really do character that way, I don’t model on a real-life person. It’s easier to give an adult/older character more depth because you have so much more backstory to draw on, even if all you’re doing is implying a backstory. Younger characters are tougher because there’s just less to work with. An adult character might have been through poverty, depression, child-rearing, work, etc…, whereas a younger character can have plenty of stuff happen, but it is necessarily compressed.

A 16 year-old doesn’t have 16 years of life experience because a lot of that 16 years is childhood. A 32 year-old is only twice as old but has spent a lot more of their life in an aware state beyond infancy.But generally Mackie is a character whom readers are free to define. I think she works because readers can assume or imagine things that are not necessarily shown. This, by the way, is the great upside of writing YA – YA readers have functioning imaginations, so I can count on them to do their part of imagining characters without me dotting every i and crossing every t.

I think that in the end between Rio, Frangie, and Rainy I liked Rainy the most. I loved her attitude and cheek. From the 3 soldiers who did you like the most and why? I understand that this might be impossible to answer so the alternative of this question is: Of these 3 characters who was the hardest for you to get to know to find their voice?

It’s easiest for me to write smart, witty characters, and of the three Rainy is clearly the best-informed, the most self-aware, the wittiest. But that’s just a question of what’s easy. Rio is tougher to write because her motivation is so nebulous. But that’s deliberate because in researching I found again and again soldiers who talked about just feeling ‘swept along’ or of enlisting ‘because everyone else was.’ I wanted to show that, and it was a good starting point for Rio’s evolution as a character. She doesn’t come in with a goal, she discovers her goal.

Frangie is easier to understand in terms of motive. She enlists because she needs the paycheck, which was another classic motivator you see in some first person accounts. But unlike Rio, Frangie has a long-term goal, an overarching goal of becoming a doctor.

If there is one message/lesson that you would like people to take away from this story what would it be?

I never think in terms of morals or lessons or takeaways. Not that in the back of my mind I don’t have conclusions of my own, but I don’t see it as being my place to teach. Again, not that I’m not obviously teaching some history, but I want the conclusions to come from readers, not from me. I am not the guru Michael Grant, I’m just your dancing monkey. I’m much more comfortable in that role. And I trust readers to do their own thinking.

I hoped you guys enjoyed that, I know I did!

~ Sincerely Snow

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