Posted: August 18, 2017 Filed under: Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult | Tags: Book Review, Fantasy, Fiction, Jordan Elizabeth, Kistishi Island, Young Adult
I recently had the pleasure of reading Kistishi Island, by Jordan Elizabeth. This YA novel was a well-written story, with a plot that comes full circle. Although the names are a bit difficult to pronounce, the characters are interesting and likable, especially Corvo (goddess of crows, and Krieg, goddess of war). The main character, Serena, is portrayed to be a teenager with depth, but still a teen, and you won’t be able to help but like her.
When Serena talks to her imaginary friends, they just don’t feel imaginary. The kids at school taunt her and she winds up in trouble all the time. Her aunt thinks she’s crazy and wants to send her to an asylum, her mom is off on archaeological digs all the time and is never around, and her imaginary friends are the only friends she has.
What will happen if she learns her imaginary friends are really goddesses watching over her? We’re about to find out, when she runs away to the Island of Kistishi to find her mom, where the walls of the ruins suck you into underground dwellings and other people see her friends, too. Besides learning that her friends aren’t imaginary, Serena also learns that she is capable of depending on herself, and that she’s capable of having real friends.
This story is well-crafted and perfect for YA readers, (or older readers who secretly love YA stories but don’t want to admit it). It is a fun and exciting read. I give Kistishi Island four quills.
Posted: May 26, 2017 Filed under: Book Review, Books, Steampunk, Young Adult | Tags: Book Review, Jordan Elizabeth, Steampunk, Treasure Chronicles, Wicked Treasure, Young Adult
Wicked Treasure, by Jordan Elizabeth is a read you won’t want to put down. Elizabeth captures the reader’s attention from the first page. It’s a truly enjoyable read. Wicked Treasure is the third novel in her Treasure Chronicle series. Preceding it are Treasure Darkly and Born of Treasure. As with all of Elizabeth’s YA steampunk romance novels, (including Runners and Riders, from her Return to Amston series). Wicked Treasure is an enticing adventure that leaves you wanting more.
Garth and Amethyst are thrown into sleuthing out a new mystery, when the kidnapping of their daughter throws them onto the trail of a diabolical conspiracy of government cover up that threatens to rock the entire country. Exposing the cover up threatens to rock the very structure of the government, making all Treasures and Grishams dispensable liabilities and they find themselves in a race to save their own lives. Full of twists, turns and outright surprises, Wicked Treasure keeps readers guessing and pages turning.
Wicked Treasure is a well crafted YA steampunk novel, filled with suspense and intrigue, that holds readers’ interest from the very first page. I give it five quills.
Posted: May 5, 2017 Filed under: Book Review, Books, Fiction, Young Adult | Tags: Book Review, Jordan Elizabeth, Novel, Reviews, The Path to Old Talbot, Young Adult
The Path to Old Talbot, by Jordan Elizabeth appears on the surface to be a novel about a doorway leading to another time, and it is that. But it is also a story about how a young girl and her mother cope with her father’s mental illness. It’s a tough issue. What does a teen do when their parent has mental problems. It may be something that isn’t talked about, so the child or young adult must deal with it internally, not expressing their feelings outwardly. Our heroine, Charity, expresses her inner thoughts and feelings to the reader, even when they are thoughts and feelings she can’t express to friends or family, giving readers a unique insider’s view of a tough love scenario. It is a difficult issue and I give Jordan Elizabeth kudos for tackling it in a realistic, but sensitive manner.
When Charity and her mother discover a door to the past in their new home, they can hardly believe it, but they quickly take advantage of to make brief escapes from their own reality. But with each visit, it gets harder for Charity to leave her new found friends from the past to their fates, as she digs up the past in the present. But can the past really be changed or is it preordained?
The Path to Old Talbot is a well written and engaging story, perfect for today’s YA readers, who may be dealing with similar issues in their own lives, (mental illness, not time travel). I give it four quills.
Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs at no charge. Have a book you’d like reviewed? Contact Kaye at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.
Posted: December 9, 2016 Filed under: Articles, Book Review, Books, Steampunk, Young Adult | Tags: Book Review, Books, Jordan Elizabeth, Runners & Riders, Steampunk, YA
Brass glass! Jordan Elizabeth has once again created an extremely well crafted steampunk romance in her latest addition to her Treasure Chronicles series. Runners & Riders is filled with mystery and intrigue, as well as plenty of steam powered gadgets and inventions that bogle the mind. Elizabeth captures the Victorian tone in every detail, taking readers of all ages on a steam powered journey that won’t soon be forgotten.
There’s an age old battle going on in New Addison City between Runners and Riders. A bored young Juliet Darcy finds herself smack dab in the middle of it all when she falls in with the notorious Runners, a brutal gang of thugs who take what they want, by force if necessary, terrorizing the city. Jonathan Montgomery is the newest young Rider, sworn to bring the Runners down after they murdered his parents when he was a child. Add an ancient mechanical princess who navigates the tunnels beneath the city with an agenda of her own and you have the makings of a great steampunk adventure.
Princess Arlene enlists the help of Juliet, who after being betrayed by the Runners, teams up with Jonathan to bring them down. But the Runners are ruthless, with little regard for anyone who stands in their way of their goals. Jonathan and Juliet risk it all to destroy the Runners and their merciless leader, but to do so, they must stay one step ahead in this deadly game.
Runners & Riders is well structured and full of surprises at every turn. I give it five quills.
Kaye gives honest book reviews and she does not charge for them. If you have a book you would like reviewed contact Kaye at kayebooth[at]yahoo[dot]com
Posted: November 21, 2016 Filed under: Books, Fiction, Opinion, Promotion, Publishing, Steampunk, Writing, Young Adult | Tags: independent publishing, Jordan Elizabeth, Publishing
Hello and welcome to Writing to be Read
, where I am interviewing authors from the three models of publishing: traditional, independent and self-publishing, to explore the pros and cons of each. To date, we’ve heard from self-published authors Jeff Bowles
, Tim Baker
and Arthur Rosch
, and with traditionally published authors, Stacia Deutsch
and Mark Shaw
This week , in part 5, we’ll hear from independently published YA author, Jordan Elizabeth, who publishes her steampunk novels, ghost stories and historical novels as well as several short stories, with Curiosity Quills Press. Jordan’s publishing credits, many of which I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing, include Escape from Witchwood Hollow, Cogling, Treasure Darkly, Born of Treasure, The Goat Children, Victorian, Runners and Riders,
and three short story anthologies, including Gears of Brass, Chronology, and Under a Brass Moon.
Kaye: When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Jordan: My fondest childhood memories involve making up stories into a tape recorder and having my maternal grandmother write them down. Authors have always been my role models. While others fawned over movie stars, I fawned over the authors of my favorite books. One of my favorite childhood authors was Bruce Coville, and a few years ago, I actually got to meet him!
Kaye: Would you share the story of how you ended up with Curiosity Quills Press?
Jordan: My critique partners have always meant a lot to me. I decided to compile an anthology – GEARS OF BRASS – with them in hopes of getting it published. One of my critique partners, Eliza Tilton, shared it with her publisher, Curiosity Quills Press. They accepted it and asked if I had any full length novels I could show them.
Kaye: What do you see as the pros and cons of independent publishing?
Jordan: The biggest con is the stigma. Many times I’ve had people tell me that going with an independent publisher is no better than self-publishing, (as if there is something wrong with that, too). At book signings, I’ve been asked who published my work. When I tell them, they’ll ask if it’s indie or traditional. These people will usually put my book down as if it is tainted.
The biggest pro is having a great, close-knit network. I know authors who have traditionally published and they’ve told me about long delays in questions being answered and feeling distant from the work force behind the book.
Kaye: You mentioned the stigma surrounding independent and self-publishing. What do you see as being the main cause of that stigma?
Jordan: I think the stigma comes from there being a lot of bad, self-published books. I hate to say that, but I’ve seen them myself and people have told me this at signings. There are some great self-published books out there…and then there are the books where the author published the first draft with no editing. Here is my real world example – I met an amazing girl at a book event. She wrote vampire erotica and I bought a copy of Book 1. I asked her what she thought of the event and she told me her mom was making her do it. She was mad that her books weren’t instant best sellers (I think we can all understand wanting our books to be loved by millions). I asked her what her favorite writing websites were, and she told me doesn’t use things like that. She doesn’t believe in editing because that just ruins the book. After I read her story, it sorely needed some editing. There were many typos, characters changed names and features, and there was no plot. I could definitely see potential in it and you could tell that she loved the world she had created. We kept in touch, and I offered to help her with Book 4. She cut me out of her life then, but did get in touch a few years later to let me know she was quitting writing because of how many negative reviews she had received. I still feel bad about that. I hate to see anyone give up on a dream.
Kaye: What do you see as the pros and cons of traditional publishing?
Jordan: I haven’t worked with a traditional publisher yet, so this is hard for me to answer from a personal standpoint. I will say that I’ve heard from author friends, traditional publishers push the big authors and tend to let the smaller, new authors flounder.
As a pro, bookstores are more apt to carry a traditionally published book. Magazines and newspapers are more apt to run a feature on the book. More people know your name.
Kaye: How much non-writing work, (marketing & promotion, illustrations, book covers, etc…) do you do yourself, for your books?
Jordan: The publisher handles the book covers and editing, however the marketing and promotion falls to me. Curiosity Quills does do a little. I am in charge of my own cover reveals and blog tours. I seek out bloggers asking for read-and-reviews (my street team is a great resource and helps me out a lot with that). I try to spend at least an hour every night on marketing.
You mentioned your street team, which is in fact, how I ended up reviewing Escape from Witchwood Hollow
back in February,
and meeting you via internet. I’ve been reviewing your books and other authors you’ve sent me ever since. Could you talk a little about your street team to let my readers know who and what they are?
Jordan: I have a street team of 3 women who got in touch with me after reading my first book. They said they loved the story and were excited that it takes place in a local setting (although names are changed to protect the innocent – and of course there is no cursed hollow), so they asked what they could do to help with promotions Currently they are helping me to find new readers. I don’t mind giving out review copies – I just want to share the story with the world, no matter how cheesy that sounds. They also let me know if they find any coll websites to advertise on and I love getting book recommendations from them.
Kaye: Would you recommend independent publishing as a good path to publication for emerging writers?
Jordan: I would. I feel like going with an independent publisher has helped me to understand the publishing world. I know what makes my website pop, I know what online magazines to advertise in, and I’ve made amazing connections. In the future, I hope to be traditionally published, but I’ll never forget where I got my start.
I want to thank Jordan for sharing with us here on Writing to be Read
. You can learn more about Jordan and her published works at www.jordanelizabethmierek.com
. Be sure and catch next week’s interview with an author who has published work under all three models, middle grade author, Nancy Oswald. It should prove to be very interesting.
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