Zi71bFS9nQHnivtvUJquhejTHIQ The Story Factory Reading Zone: September 2012

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Prescott Academy

From Crashing Eden by Michael Sussman
.....headed up the long sycamore-lined driveway of the Academy. The school was an enormous stone building, dating from 1825. Built in some sort of spooky Gothic style, it looked majestic and a little spooky. 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Music Out of The Pages: music of the wind?

Welcome to my new Monday feature: Music Out of the Pages.

Each Monday I will be posting an extract of a book I've read which mentions music.
Feel free to join in by leaving a link to your own blog/twitter etc. post in the comments below.

Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
"Did you hear that?" Elgion grabbed Alemi's arm.
"Hear what?"
"The music!"
"What music?" Alemi wondered briefly if the sun were strong enough to give the Harper a stroke. But he sharpened his ears for an unusual sound, following the line of Elgion's stare to the cliffs. His heart leapt for a moment, but he said, "Music? Nonsence! Those cliffs are riddled with caves and holes. All you hear is the wind..."
"There isn't any wind now..."

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Tour Stop: A Life in the Service by Roberta Pescow (Review & Excerpt)

Author Bio:

About the author: Roberta Pescow is a freelance writer with articles featured on over 200 websites nationwide. She is also a jazz singer with Narrow Escape Duo, performing at venues in and around Northern New Jersey. Roberta is a proud mother of two, and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. As a long time vegetarian, she has a deep love and respect for all creatures. When she gets some free time, Roberta also enjoys sculpture, photography, reading, swimming and quiet time with family, friends and her beloved dog, Summer.


Contact Links:

 Purchase Links:

YA - Fantasy (Novelette)

Date Published: 6/21/12




Jenny accepts the fact that she was born into a domestic race for a life of domestic work. In return for this loyal service, the householders provide food, protection and shelter. Jenny's earthy spirituality and gentle nature allow her to be content with her lot, even when her situation is far from ideal. But during a terrifying fire, Jenny accidentally becomes separated from her master and mistress. 

Out on the street with no identification, Jenny finds herself an unlikely fugitive with no protection from a dangerous world. The experience shakes her beliefs to the core and causes her to question everything she has ever known. Follow Jenny's adventures in strange world of inequality that is a lot closer to home than you think. This novelette is approximately 12,000 words in length.

My review:

This book wasn't at all what I was expecting. I won't reveal why, but let's just say that there's a little (intended) twist to the tale.
What this story was is a short and simple tale, heartbreaking in places. The action was interesting and the main character well-developed.
Not really my cup-of-tea, but great for those looking for a relaxing tale to occupy an hour or so. Would make a good bed-time or holiday read.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

To my amazement, the rats appeared to be as afraid of me as I was of them, and they made a hasty retreat. Still shaking, I approached the garbage can and reached toward the lid. In my uncertain state, I was clumsier than I would have liked. I’m embarrassed to say I dropped the lid and tipped the entire garbage can over with an awful clash. I had but a moment to grab a loaf of challah before a group of workers came rushing out of the bakery to investigate the commotion. I ran like the wind, even though my feet hurt terribly, and luck stayed with me in that none of them had the time or inclination to pursue me any distance.

    And so I found myself back at the enormous cardboard box, sitting in a corner and munching on sweet, fresh challah bread that was only very slightly burned at the crust. Actually I felt quite pleased with myself. Adrenaline still surged through my brain, making the sky seem brighter, the air fresher and even the bread sweeter than I could have ever imagined. I had never felt so alive! Perhaps my mother was wrong, I thought, and I could work things out on my own after all.
    One of the legends of our people is that long ago, when the earth was young, our first ancestors had no association at all with the householders. They survived only by their strength, their cunning and their skills. But then, the legend has it, something was altered in our line and we no longer were born with the attributes necessary for survival. Thus, we were forever destined to serve the householders, who in return, maintain us. Perhaps this story is true, or perhaps it is not. Domestics have served householders ever since the beginning of our known history. But on that morning, with stolen sweetness still warm on my tongue, I began to believe there was something to that old story, and that at least some tiny vestige of our proud, ancient ancestors coursed through my gentle veins.

Action Reader's Action: Give a pound or, better still, some food to a homeless person or homeless charity.

Question: What do you think of whe you hear/read the word 'domestic'?

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Crashing Eden by Michael Sussman (A Review)

For one boy and his friends, the path to Paradise comes at a cost- one they may not be prepared to pay.
When a biking accident leaves 17-year-old Joss Kazdan with the ability to hear things others can't, reality as he knows it begins to unravel.
A world of legends exists beyond the ordinary life he's always known, and he is transported to the same Paradise he's studying in World Mythology. But the strange gets even stranger when his new friends build a device that delivers people through the gates of the Garden of Eden.
Now Samael, the Creator God, is furious. As Samael rains down his apocalyptic devestation on the ecstacy-seeking teens, Joss and his companions must find a way to appease Samael- or the world will be destroyed forever.

My review:
I have never read a book quite like this one before. Beginning as teen fiction, travelling through dystopian and then onto fantasy, this novel has it all. I found it thought-provoking, challenging  and entertaining all at the same time. I loved Joss' character. I also enjoyed the explanations of how the book's events related to world mythology (although these passages might be a little long for those less interested in myths than myself).
I really recommend this read to anyone who enjoys exploring what it means to be human. Fans of dystopia, science fiction, and myths would also get a lot out of this book.

I was provided with this book in exchange for an honest review.

Action Reader's Action: Consider what actions you could take to bring 'paradise' to our world

What would be your idea of Paradise?

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

D.R.T. by Ray Ellis (A Review)

Registered sex offenders in Treasure Valley have started showing up dead, killed with apparent violence and forethought; and Detective Nate Richards finds himself pitted against a psychotic killer set on ridding the valley of the unclean.
When Chrystal Johnson, the only female on the killer's list, barely escapes the attempt on her life, Richards takes her into protective custody. Driven by the voice he calls God and a group of men he calls the Uncles, the killer sets a deadline of two weeks to complete the valley's cleansing.
Around him, the community divides about the actions of the vigilante. Some hail the killer as a modern day knight, only doing what they wish they could; while others curse him as being part of the sickness he claims to fight.
With the deasline quickly approaching, and the city threatening to tear itself apart, will the killer fulfill his calling or will Nate stop the killings before another victim turns up DEAD RIGHT THERE. 

My review:
Following on from N.H.I, this is yet another great detective story. Focussing around the complexities of forgiveness and revenge, this book tackles deep issues in a meaningful way.

Nate's character comntinues to be well-rounded and one of the greatest features of the writing is the way in which his personal and professional lives intertwine in a truly captivating fashion.

I was really excited to read that another book, I.A.I., is due out at the end of the year. 

I was provided with a copy of this books in exchange for an honest review.

Action Reader's Action: Pray for the unwanted of society.

Question: Do you think the killer was in the right or the wrong to do what they did?

Monday, 10 September 2012

Between the Wood and the Water by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Continuing the epic foot journey across Europe begun in A Time of Gifts

The journey that Patrick Leigh Fermor set out on in 1933—to cross Europe on foot with an emergency allowance of one pound a day—proved so rich in experiences that when much later he sat down to describe them, they overflowed into more than one volume. Undertaken as the storms of war gathered, and providing a background for the events that were beginning to unfold in Central Europe, Leigh Fermor's still-unfinished account of his journey has established itself as a modern classic. Between the Woods and the Water, the second volume of a projected three, has garnered as many prizes as its celebrated predecessor, A Time of Gifts.

The opening of the book finds Leigh Fermor crossing the Danube—at the very moment where his first volume left off. A detour to the luminous splendors of Prague is followed bya trip downriver to Budapest, passage on horseback acrossthe Great Hungarian Plain, and a crossing of the Romanian border into Transylvania. Remote castles, mountain villages,monasteries and towering ranges that are the haunt of bears, wolves, eagles, gypsies, and a variety of sects are all savoredin the approach to the Iron Gates, the division between the Carpathian mountains and the Balkans, where, for now, the story ends.

My review:
 I really enjoyed this exploration into another world- this time inter-war Hungary and the surrounding areas. Fermor's journey is punctuated by some amazing experiences, as well as essays on the history and customs of these regions. Whilst the age of this writing showed in places this was more than made up for by the content.

I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good travel-log.

Action Reader's Action: Write a review of a place you've visited to help guide others. Post it online.

Question: Where's the best place you've ever visited? Tell us about it. 

Sunday, 9 September 2012

20+ Google+ Followers Giveaway

To celebrate having over 20 Google+ followers, I'm giving away a copy of The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa.

This is a physical copy which I won in someone else's giveaway but, unfortunatly, on arrival realised that I wasn't my sort of read. If it's yours though, I'd love for you to have it and, if possible, review it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Book Tour: Desert Rice by Angela Scott (Review and Excerpts)


Author Bio
I hear voices. Tiny fictional people sit on my shoulders and whisper their stories in my ear. Instead of
medicating myself, I decided to pick up a pen, write down everything those voices tell me, and turn it
into a book. I’m not crazy. I’m an author. For the most part, I write contemporary Young Adult novels.
However, through a writing exercise that spiraled out of control, I found myself writing about zombies
terrorizing the Wild Wild West—and loving it. My zombies don’t sparkle, and they definitely don’t
cuddle. At least, I wouldn’t suggest it.
I live on the benches of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with two lovely children, one teenager, and a
very patient husband. I graduated from Utah State University with a B.A. degree in English, not because
of my love for the written word, but because it was the only major that didn’t require math. I can’t spell,
and grammar is my arch nemesis. But they gave me the degree, and there are no take backs.
As a child, I never sucked on a pacifier; I chewed on a pencil. I’ve been writing that long. It has only
been the past few years that I’ve pursued it professionally, forged relationships with other like-minded
individuals, and determined to make a career out of it.
You can find me at my website, where I blog obsessively about my writing process and post updates on
my current works. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook, but be forewarned, I tweet and post more than a
normal person.
Twitter - @whimsywriting

Samantha Jean Haggert is a beautiful twelve-year-old girl—but no one knows it. All they see is an awkward boy in a baseball cap and baggy pants. Sam’s not thrilled with the idea of hiding her identity, but it’s all part of her older brother’s plan to keep Sam safe from male attention and hidden from the law. Fifteen-year-old Jacob will stop at nothing to protect his sister, including concealing the death of the one person who should have protected them in the first place—their mother.

Sam and Jacob try to outrun their past by stealing the family car and traveling from West Virginia to Arizona, but the adult world proves mighty difficult to navigate, especially for two kids on their own. Trusting adults has never been an option; no adult has ever given them a good reason. But when Sam meets “Jesus”—who smells an awful lot like a horse—in the park, life takes a different turn. He saved her once, and may be willing to save Sam and her brother again, if only they admit what took place that fateful day in West Virginia. The problem? Sam doesn’t remember, and Jacob isn’t talking. 

 We stopped in a remote town outside of Kansas City, and while Jacob added a few dollars of gas to the car, I went inside the convenience store to use the restroom. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary, but when I returned to the car, Jacob kept glancing around, and his hands shook even though the sun hung high in the midday sky.
"We need to go. Get in the car."
His jitteriness made me nervous. I couldn't see anything around that should, but I climbed into the car as he'd told me to. He reached across and locked my door, and I tensed and sat rigid in my seat.
"What's going on?"
"Not now." He started the car and we pulled onto the highway.
He kept looking into the rearview mirror every few seconds, so I turned in my seat and glanced behind us, too. I didn't see a thing. No one followed us.
"Is it the police?"
He didn't say anything, but pressed on the gas to make the car go faster. I continued to watch behind us, but after awhile I gave up and turned back around in my seat. I'd no idea why he acted the way he did.
"You're scaring me." I watched my brother's profile. "What's going on?"
"We're going to have to cut your hair."
That took me by surprise, and I struggled to understand what one thing had to do with the other. "What are you talking about?"
"Didn't you see how those guys back there looked at you?" He turned and glanced at me before staring ahead again.
"What guys?" I had no idea what he was talking about.
"The ones sitting outside the gas station. They watched you the whole time."
"You mean the guys with the motorcycles?" A couple of bikers parked outside the convenience store hadn't appeared to be doing much of anything, just sitting there. I'd hardly noticed them at all.
He nodded. "They watched everything you did."
"I didn't see them watching me."
He sneered. "That doesn't surprise me. You don't notice anything."
"So what," I argued. "So they were watching me. What's the big deal? Why do I have to cut my hair?"
Jacob breathed deeply and then released it. "Because you didn't see the way they looked at you." He kept driving onward. "Sam, don't you have any better clothes than this?" He tugged on my tank shirt. "You've got to get rid of this and those cutoff shorts too. You're attracting the wrong kind of attention."
"I'm not trying to attract any attention. I'm not doing anything—"
"It's not you, Sam," he interrupted. "It's those perverts that I'm worried about. You're growing up and men are starting to look."
Why would men be looking at a twelve-year-old girl? A chill ran down my spine, and I shivered while looking back out the rear window again. No one followed behind us.
I slumped back down in my seat. "So, why do I have to cut my hair?"
He stared at me and then looked away. "Because, Sam, the best way to keep you safe is to make you look like you're my brother."


Impossible to put down right from the start! Well-rounded characters that jump out of the page, begging to become part of your life. A plot that seems so simple and yet retains the element of surprise. Heartbreaking, intense and yet (somehow) still an easy read, I've become a fan of Angela Scott overnight. 

Thoroughly recommended. A super read!

Action Reader's Action: Consider the homeless of your society. How can you help them? Put your thoughts into action.

Question: What do your clothes say about you?

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

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