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Saturday, August 24, 2013

May Sinclair, PhD Interview!


Here's an interview with May Sinclair, PhD! View my review of her book In the Between here.
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Q.  What inspired you to write a novel on reincarnation?

A.  I’ve been attracted to the concept of reincarnation for a long as I can remember.  Especially, after I read The Tibetan Book of the Dead, where the concept of getting to choose our parents is described.  It was all quite intriguing.  Then when I was invited to join a writers’ group and they were all writing fiction, I decided to put aside the non-fiction book I was then working on for a while to write a metaphysical fantasy.  Of course, I also used prior research from other books I’d written, and my personal experiences, along with my imagination, to develop the story. 

Q. What made you decide on those specific places and time periods?

A.  Conversations with various people over the years suggested some places and periods of time that fit into the overall story.  My husband and I used to sit in our kitchen enjoying ourselves as we made up past-life stories about the two of us and people we know. 

My real sister, just like my sister in the book, believed she was buried alive in Egypt and she told me that was why she was claustrophobic.  One of my dearest friends told me she felt she lived in Greece and could picture herself looking out from a set of wide steps to view a columned Greek temple.

Q.  How did you come up with the character of Starry and her traits?

A.  Now that is both psychological and metaphysical.  Psychologically, I, like most people, hear voices in my head that tell me what I “should” do.  Things like: hurry up, you can’t have fun until the work is done, you won’t succeed unless you to this or that.  Those voices come from the pieces of me that I developed throughout my life to cope with it.

 The core of metaphysics indicates there is more to us than our five senses: hearing, speaking, seeing, smelling, and touching, while many religions and philosophies teach that a soul is placed within a physical body to learn—to increase consciousness. 

The Starry character is a creation from those parts of my concept of soul that is both a goad to cope and to evolve consciousness.  She is a blend of instincts that are often automatic and self-protective along with the sense there is something greater than can be comprehended with only five senses alone.  Starry is joyous.  She knows life is infinite and if one choice doesn’t turn out well, there are many more opportunities to choose from again and again.  Still, Starry’s character flaw is that she’s not using the emotional element in the best way to feel compassion and to cooperate with her physical aspect to grow more easily.  Her detachment is necessary yet stressful for evolution of the complete soul.

Q.  Who do you think you were in a prior life?

A.  At one point my life, I experimented with Past-life regression.  Of course, all of it could be from my imagination, but I saw myself during one of the regressions with other young women in the Ambassador’s wing of the palace of Versailles.  I used that as a basis for the parts of the book that took place in Spain, England, France, and the Netherlands.  In another of those regressions I saw myself in a harem where a man (my real husband in this life) was mutilated for some misdeed that could have been attributed to me.  That was a terrible experience and I remember telling my husband after I came out of the trace state that it wasn’t my fault.  He looked at me as though I was nuts and then we laughed about it.

Q.  How much research did it take to write as true to the time periods as possible?
  
A.  The amount of time was lessened because I was able to use my prior research about the sacred marriage rites from Mesopotamia, the medical practices used to produce a son in ancient Greece, and how the throne mysticism of the Kabalah affected temple worship in Jerusalem from another non-fiction book I wrote many years ago: Infamous Eve, A History.

The second book in this series, The Beginning Begins, continues the progression of the soul (two souls rather than one), but it also weaves into the story the mystery surrounding the scrolls that were hidden, along with the Urim and Thummim that were said to be used to get answers to questions from God—by Salome Alexandra in Jerusalem—in this book.
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Thanks to May Sinclair for answering all my questions! The link to my review of her book is posted above. It's an amazing book and it's an interesting concept so please go check it out!

 M.A.Chase

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kiera's Quest: Awakenings by Kristy Brown REVIEW

Title: Awakenings
Author:  Kristy Brown
Release date: October 19th, 2011
Rating: 4.5/5
Publisher: MuseItUp
Book Summary:  
Meet Kiera, a pretty, intelligent, and talented girl, brought up by her uncle, and abandoned by her parents. Life is as normal as she believes it to be, apart from the deep ache inside her, telling her she’s different. For years, Kiera had dreams where she ventures into a different reality. She’s not alone; a presence is always there, keeping her safe, yet she feels vulnerable, and hunted.
Zakk, Prince of Zantar, is under the Witch Queen’s spell as she tries to take over his world.He crosses paths with Kiera, and their fates are entwined.
As their journey unravels, she learns that she is not the only one affected by this prince. Who is on her side? Will she find out why she has been chosen? How can someone so young, defeatsuch evil? Will she find the strength to save the ones closest to her? Will this be Kiera’s only Quest?
Review:

Thanks to Kristy Brown's event on her Facebook page I was able to request, read, and now review Awakenings the first book in her, as of right now, trilogy.  If you like evil witches, princes, quests, and magic then this is the book for you. I promise.

I read the book's synopsis and I immediately wanted to snatch it up, curl up on my couch, and read. And once I started, I couldn't stop. I literally read the whole book in one day and when it ended I wanted more of Kiera and Zakk. Brown's imagery was vivid and flowed so beautifully.  Personification brought the scenes to life: "Zakk knew his only response would be that of his own echoes chasing each other round the stone cave walls." And that was only in Chapter One. I read this in one day because I didn't even realize how many pages I had read until I was done. I was so immersed in Kiera's world and her thought process.


However, the reason why I didn't give it a 5 is because I felt that certain things happened too quickly. I can't think of the exact scene when I thought that, but I felt things were kind of sped up. I also have to take into consideration that the time span of the novel was a few days, though I still felt certain things should have taken their time. For example, traveling across the gorge full of spikes. Also, certain lines felt a little cliché. 

Brown's character's were really, really great, though. I could really relate to Kiera. The way she was handling her situation and getting paranoid with the people around her was probably how I would have been. Saving a prince's life and an entire world was on her shoulders and it was her fault if everything was destroyed. She had also come to like the prince that she was trying to help and she wouldn't have been happy with herself if she didn't succeed.

The Witch Queen was a really cool character. Honestly, I wouldn't want to run into her in a dark alley. She knew what she wanted and when she wanted it. It wasn't her fault that her henchman Googe couldn't deliver. (Also, as a side note, I read Googe as Google the first time and I had to re-read it cause I was so confused. Though, it was really funny.) The things she did to Zakk (most of which were just revealed) in the first Chapter in order to rise to the throne was completely insane and wonderful. She was powerful and yet she was vulnerable which is probably why I liked her so much. I hated her so much I loved her!

Joe is probably the most adorable thing ever. I have a friend named Joe and for some reason both his personality and the personality of the Joe in the book really fit. I don't know. Haha. I guess it really made my connection with Joe a little stronger, because he was so similar to my friend in real life, which is a very good thing. Her character was well rounded and exhibited qualities and quirks and personality traits that are seen in normal humans. Joe jumped off the page for me. He was lovestruck and faithful, but he also had his dorky qualities which were super duper adorable.

I fell in love with Daz at the end, and since that was the case, you'll have to read Kiera's Quest: Awakenings.  You'll also have to read it to find out why the ending killed me. (Trust me. You won't be disappointed reading this book.) 

I would definitely love to pick up the remaining book sometime in the near future. Thank you again Kristy Brown and I hope to hear more from you soon!
M.A.Chase

Friday, August 2, 2013

City of Bones Cast Q&A and Meet and Greet!

On Wednesday (July 31) I was able to meet Jamie Campbell Bower, Lily Collins, and Kevin
Zegers from the City of Bones cast. They were the most down to earth actors ever. 

During the signing, Kevin Zegers, Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower greeted everyone with big smiles and were so happy to see us. 

Jamie Campbell Bower: "Thanks for waiting to see us. It's great to meet you." 
Lily Collins: "It's lovely to meet you." 
Kevin Zegers: "Hey, sweetie. How are you?"

They gave fans hand fives and honestly, treated them like if they were friends. I don't know why that shocks me, but it does. To me, it made them feel more like people I could relate to and not just stars that I see on the big screen. 

During the Q&A it was so much better; all three of them were completely shocked with how many people came out to see them and were standing in the heat just to hear them ask questions. They stood up and started taking pictures on their phones with the sheer volume of people that were standing there. Jamie even said that the fact that so many people were out there made him "super happy." 

They revealed many things about themselves and their characters:

Lily revealed that she read the books and wanted to be Clary; that when she heard it was being turned into a movie got on her email and emailed all sorts of people. She also revealed that she is very close to her mother and was happy to portray that closeness on screen. She said that when she watched the final screening of City of Bones that it was hard to tell when she was acting and when she was having fun because she enjoyed being there and working on the set so much.

Jamie cracked jokes the whole time during the Q&A about Justin Bieber being a poser and how he would really mess up lines during filming. He also revealed that his favorite part about being Jace was Jace's vulnerability. Jamie also revealed that at the end of ever movie, he keeps a momento from the movie; in this case, he had (and was wearing) the Morgenstern ring which he showed the audience (who, again, cheered wildly).

Kevin laughed along with Jamie and Lily and revealed that if he had to choose something other than being a Shadowhunter, he would want to be a warlock (which was followed by loud cheering from the audience). He also revealed that his favorite character other than Alec was Simon (although the audience was hoping to hear Magnus in that answer). 

They were having as much fun as we were. None of them expected a whole audience to go wild over the word "greenhouse" or over their answers and stories. I don't know, I guess it shocked me that they were as happy to see all of us as we were to see them. Seeing them really made me excited about The City of Bones and it also made me excited for the next one (which they frequently mentioned during the Q&A.)

If they do end up reading this, I just want to thank them for taking their time to come out to meet fans and say hello. It was absolutely brilliant.   
 M.A.Chase