The Black Shard – Victoria Simcox and International Giveaway

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

“Kristina’s stay at summer horse camp is horrible to say the least, and it’s all because Hester and Davina are there as well, making her life miserable. When Hester’s cruel prank goes terribly wrong, it’s actually what sends the three girls back to the magical land of Bernovem. In Bernovem, Kristina is very excited to see her former friend, Prince Werrien. When he invites her to sail with him on his ship to his homeland Tezerel, putting it simply, Kristina can’t refuse.

Reunited with her gnome, dwarf, animal, fairy friends … and best of all, Werrien, things seem like they couldn’t get any better for Kristina. But when Werrien becomes fascinated with an unusual seeing stone, the “Black Shard”, Kristina is haunted by a ghostlike old hag.

Struggling against suspicion, guilt, illness, and ultimately the one who wants to possess her soul, Kristina will see it’s in her weakest moment that she will encounter more strength than she has ever known.”

Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me this e-book to read and review.  The Black Shard is the sequel to The Magic Warble (review here) it has 255 pages with 1-2 pictures per chapter, it’s listed as a middle-grade read, ages 9-13 (but still very readable for older readers like myself) and is available to buy now from Amazon.

The story begins two years and five months after Kristina’s last trip to the magical world of Bernovem and it seemed as though she had convinced herself that her adventure there had just been a dream.

Again there were fabulous illustrations dotted throughout, this was something that I particularly enjoyed from the first book and once again I found myself looking forward to coming across each and every one.  Also like last time, my six-year-old daughter wanted to be informed whenever an illustration popped up so that she could admire it too!

The characters had all matured both physically and emotionally since the last book (with the exception of a couple of very argumentative girls) and the return to Bernovem revealed the wonderful changes that had taken place in the time after the Magic Warble had been put in its resting place.

There were many familiar wonders, the talking animals for example, but it soon became clear that a new, dark and sinister danger was lurking in Bernovem waiting for its moment to strike.

Kristina and Werrien’s friendship had definitely transformed into something more and I really enjoyed this romantic side of the story (I’m a sucker for a bit of romance).  The time on the ship was particularly stressful for Kristina and I felt so anxious for her as she tried to figure out the meaning of all the strange occurrences.

I really wasn’t expecting the surprising twist that came at the end and I loved that this book was able to shock me like that.

This is an imaginative read that I couldn’t put down, I finished it in just one day and I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Victoria was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She now lives in Western Washington with her husband, Russ and their three children, Toby, Kristina, and William. Her other family members are a Chihuahua, named Pipsy and two cats, named Frodo and Fritz. Besides being an author, Victoria is a home-schooling mother of twelve years and an elementary school art teacher of eleven years. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys managing her two older children’s Celtic band. She also loves writing, reading, painting watercolors, hiking, good movies, and just simply hanging out with her family and friends.

GIVEAWAY

The author has kindly offered 3 e-books of The Black Shard to give away to readers of Me, My Books and I.

It is very easy to enter, you can either:

Each of these will give you a separate entry so make sure you leave a comment below to let me know how you’ve entered.

The giveaway is International and will run for one week ending at 10am GMT on Wednesday 29 August 2012.  Any entries received after that time will not be counted.  The winners will be chosen using random.org.

Good luck!

The Magic Warble – Victoria Simcox & International Giveaway

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Twelve-year-old Kristina Kingsly feels like the most unpopular girl in her school. The kids all tease her, and she never seems to fit in. But when Kristina receives an unusual Christmas gift, she suddenly finds herself magically transported to the land of Bernovem, home of dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals and the evil Queen Sentiz.

In Bernovem, Kristina not only fits in, she’s honored as “the chosen one” the only one who can release the land from Queen Sentiz’s control. But it’s not as simple as it seems. To save Bernovem, she must place the gift she was given, the famous “Magic Warble,” in its final resting place. And she must travel through the deep forest, climb a treacherous mountain, and risk capture by the queen’s “zelbocks” before she reaches her destination. Guided by her new fairy friends, Clover and Looper and by Prince Werrien, a teenage boy, as well as an assortment of other characters, Kristina sets off on a perilous journey that not only tests her strength but her heart.”

I was lucky enough to win this eBook from a giveaway on Jera’s Jamboree.

This is a marvellous idea for a story and although it is listed as a middle-grade read for children aged 9-13 I still enjoyed it.  If you have an interest in magical fantasy stories then this is one for you no matter what age you are.

Kristina is a girl who doesn’t quite fit in, throw in a mysterious hatbox and a fun laundry chute ride, and she is suddenly thrust into a position of being a hugely important person to many in a whole new world. This strange new world is filled with fantasy creatures, animals that can talk, magic fairy blossom and so many more interesting magical ideas!

I loved the beautiful illustrations that were dotted throughout the book, they helped me visualise everything more easily and I found myself really looking forward to the next one appearing.  My six-year-old daughter also grew very interested in mummy’s Kindle once she knew there were pictures on it and she wanted to be informed whenever I got to an illustrated page.

There were lots of twists and turns in the story including a few pleasant surprises towards the end.  The action just kept on coming and there was never a dull moment.

This is a lovely magical story that was a pleasure to read.

The Magic Warble is available to buy from Amazon at the great price of £1.95 (price correct at the time of writing this review). 

Victoria was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She now lives in Western Washington with her husband, Russ and their three children, Toby, Kristina, and William. Her other family members are a Chihuahua, named Pipsy and two cats, named Frodo and Fritz. Besides being an author, Victoria is a home-schooling mother of twelve years and an elementary school art teacher of eleven years. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys managing her two older children’s Celtic band. She also loves writing, reading, painting watercolors, hiking, good movies, and just simply hanging out with her family and friends.

 GIVEAWAY

The author has kindly offered 3 eBooks of The Magic Warble to give away to readers of Me, My Books and I.

It is very easy to enter, you can either:

Each of these will give you a separate entry so make sure you leave a comment below to let me know how you’ve entered.

The giveaway is international and will run for one week ending at 10am GMT on Monday 14 May 2012, any entries received after that time will not be counted.  The winners will be chosen using random.org.

Good luck!

Heaven – Christoph Marzi

“The night that Heaven lost her heart was cold and moonless. But the blade that sliced it out was warm with her dark blood…

David Pettyfer is taking a shortcut over the dark rooftops of London’s brooding houses, when he literally stumbles across Heaven: a strange, beautiful, distraught girl who says that bad men have stolen her heart. Yet she’s still alive…

And so begins David and Heaven’s wild, exciting and mysterious adventure – to find Heaven’s heart, and to discover the incredible truth about her origins. “

This was another impulse buy, I was intrigued by the cover and the synopsis sounded really interesting.

I’m so glad I did buy it because I really enjoyed this urban fairy tale, every moment was truly fascinating right from the start.  There were so many questions raised that I just had to read on to find the answers. These answers came bit by bit and it felt like I was fitting together a puzzle.

For some reason I expected this to be an old-fashioned story so I was surprised to find that it was actually very modern.  Set in London it had a tense and eerie feel to it with plenty of action, a bit of romance and lots of secrets.

I felt that there was a great energy between David and Heaven, they were so natural with each other and I think this gives the reader a feeling of comfort especially with all the craziness that surrounded the two of them.  They had a conversation where they talked about memories being like postcards in our minds and I really liked that idea.

Miss Trodwood was a lovely character, she was very wise, honest and down to earth which I think made her feel grandmotherly.  I liked the way she had taken David in when he was in trouble and that she also did the same for Heaven too.  The mysterious man with the black gloves and the equally mysterious client of his really got my imagination going – I had all sorts of theories as to who they were but unfortunately none were correct.

Towards the end the intensity and action really increased – I found myself holding my breath and hoping for a good outcome!

This is a dark mysterious story that kept me guessing throughout, a definite must-read.

Heaven can be purchased here or from most good book retailers.