Thursday, March 28, 2013

Guest Post by Wendy Knight, and Book Review of Feudlings

I am so pleased to host Wendy Knight, debut author of Feudlings, on my blog today! Not only is Wendy a fantastic writer and awesome human being, she is a dear friend of mine. I am SO happy she has reached her publishing goal! It couldn't have happened to a nicer or more deserving person. Wendy and I met back when we were both dreaming of publication (okay, I still am). I got to watch as she sent out her book, waited to hear back, and finally got the offer and signed the contract. I still remember when she told us in the chat room she had an offer and we were all so excited for her!

I am also lucky enough to be in a critique group with this gal. In fact, she was kind enough to offer to do a guest post on critique groups for us today.

Critique Groups and Why You Need Them
by Wendy Knight

So. Before I launch onto my soap box, I have to say thank you for letting me visit, Lindzee! I am sooo grateful for you and all your support with my book launch, and for helping me get Feudlings in Flames ready for press. Without my critique group, I never would have whipped that mess into shape.

Which is why we need critique groups! I worked my tail off writing Feudlings, but there are things that, as a writer, we just don’t see in our own manuscript. Sometimes they’re simple, like that we use speech tags too often (sorry Lindzee!), but some are bigger – plot holes, for example, or keeping our characters’ facts straight. We need critique groups because they have a viewpoint different than our own, and they see things we might miss.

It’s not a matter of, “Oh, I’m a very experienced writer, I don’t need a critique group.” The best writers in the industry have multiple critique groups, and beta readers, and proof readers, and all kinds of other readers. We learn so much from each other.

AND you develop the best, most supportive group of friends EVER. I would be lost without my writers groups!

Author Bio
Wendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, etcetera, etcetera). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.
You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing. 

Back Cover Blurb

Nothing makes a new school suck worse than discovering the guy you’re in love with is your prophesied nemesis.

Ari is the most powerful flame-throwing sorceress ever, and her people’s last hope in an ancient war. But she’s also a seventeen-year-old girl, and in her free, not-hunting-nemesis times, she jumps from school to school, trying to figure out regular people her own age and pretending she’ll get the chance to graduate.

Shane lives a double life. He goes to school and masters the art of popularity, hiding the fact that he has a fate with a slim chance of his survival. He’s destined to end a 300 year-old war by killing or being killed. He knows he’s hunted by a powerful enemy who’s not afraid to die. Only problem? He has no idea who that enemy is.

When Ari shows up at Shane’s school, angry and sullen and determined to keep him at arm’s reach, neither of them realize they are supposed to be killing each other, not falling in love. Until Ari does realize it, and she almost dies – by Shane’s hand.
My Take
Let me start by saying I loved this book. LOVED. Seriously, go buy a copy now and thank me later. Also, could that cover get any more gorgeous? I am seriously in love with the cover art.

I blew threw this book in two days, which says a lot about usually takes me a couple of weeks to complete a book. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

One of the strengths of this book, for me, were the characters. I especially enjoyed the main characters, Ari and Shane. Ari is fierce and strong and wears high-heeled boots. I loved her character arc as the plot progressed, and loved getting inside her head. Shane is super hot and charismatic. What's not to love about that?

I liked how the girls at the school took Ari in and kept being her friend, even when she put them off. It's nice to see good role models of friendship in a YA instead of the stereotypical mean girls. I also loved the romantic tension between Shane and Ari.

This book was great beginning, middle, and end. It's extremely clean and a great YA for teens who love urban fantasy. I am so excited for the sequel! As Wendy mentioned, I've been lucky enough to read some of it in our critique group, and let me tell you, it is going to be fantastic.

If I haven't convinced you yet to go buy the book, then keep reading. Wendy was kind enough to offer us an excerpt. 


"Shane, I’m tougher than I look. I can handle it,” she said, although she wasn’t sure she wanted to know any more about his magic than she already did. It could get him in trouble. But she couldn’t just leave it alone. Part of her wanted to know. Maybe the monster-killer part of her. 

She squashed that thought. 

Shane stopped, studied her. Under his intense blue gaze her heart started to pound and she thought giddily that her favorite color just happened to be the exact color of his eyes. What were the odds?

“I’m serious, Ari. There’s this war going on, and knowing anything about it could get you killed.”

“Killed?” Ari tried to look dubious.

Shane glanced around and grabbed her hand, pulling her with him out the front doors. The air was crisp and cool; Ari could see traces of her breath. If Shane was aware that half the student population was watching them speed-walk into the woods, he didn’t show it, and after a final glance back Ari ignored them too.

When the school was out of sight, she stopped and pulled her hand away. “Okay Shane. Spill,” she commanded. She crossed her arms over her chest and tried to look cold. Normals would be cold right now, but because of the flames flowing through their blood, neither she nor Shane could feel it.

Shane sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Where to start? Even the short version is long. We’re sorcerers, and there are two sides to this war… of course, because that’s what makes a war, right?” he rambled. Ari raised an eyebrow at him as she tried to shiver. “I’m a Carules. I have magic that stems from these blue flames that, well, they’re in my blood. Hunter, too. And all other Carules. The other side is Edren, and their magic comes from red flames. Basically, we spend all our time trying to kill each other. It’s a lot of fun,” he said with a bitter frown at the ground.

“So you hide your magic because if an Edren found you...”

“They’d kill me. Or try to, anyway,” Shane finished for her.

Ari flinched at his words, and she knew right then that if she had seen him on that battle field in Adlington, she wouldn’t have been able to kill him. Her eyes widened in shock, her mouth opened into a silent “Oh”, and her heart started to pound. This was a very, very dangerous revelation she’d just made to herself.

She had a weakness. And it was Shane.

Okay, now I know that made you want to keep reading!

Buy Links
Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Astraea Press 

Social Media Links
Wendy's blog:  
Twitter: @wjk8099 

Now clear your schedule, buy the book, and settle down for an enjoyable day of reading. Trust me, you won't want to stop until the last page.


Wendy Jo said...

Thank you for having me, Lindzee!

stephanie said...

This book look so interesting! Congratulations, Wendy. This is wonderful news!

Lindzee said...

My pleasure, Wendy. And is a fantastic book! :)

Kami McArthur said...

I still can't get over that cover! It's killer! I think this book will definitely find an audience.