young adult fantasy

What’s in a difference?

Author Katrina Jack talks about The Silver Flute Trilogy. What sets her YA Urban Fantasy series apart from other books in the genre? What makes her characters unique? Read on to find out…



As an author of YA urban fantasy, I use some of the criteria that applies to fantasy overall. For example, my characters have a goal or quest they must fulfil in order to achieve their destiny. They have certain powers that help them in their journey. They fight mythical creatures and they combat weird and horrifying enemies who get in their way.

midnight 2

But of course thousands of writers do the same, no matter what genre they write in. So what did I do to make my work different? Well, the lead protagonist in The Silver Flute Trilogy is mute. How did I make him communicate, not only with his fellow characters, but with the readers too? Obviously it was neither practical or desirable to use swathes of description of sign language, apart from the odd gesture. I overcame this by simply not putting inverted comments around his dialogue, but instead…

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Categories: authors to watch, dark fantasy, fantasy, urban fantasy, young adult adventure, young adult fantasy | Tags: , , , , ,

Book of the Day: The Chosen One (Grimsley Hollow)

Today’s Book of the Day is:


by Nicole Storey

This book is the first in a middle-grade series that features a very unique hero. It’s also #FREE on #Kindle, so grab your copy now before the special promotion ends.


Eleven-year-old Gage Gilbert is autistic, loves Halloween, and has no friends. He longs to share real adventures – not just those conjured in his head.

A mysterious key leads him to Eve, a young witch from another world called Grimsley Hollow. It’s a place where all magical beings live in safety and peace, but their realm is in trouble. Gage is the only one who can save them from a nefarious witch who has taken control.
And the human world is next on her list.

With Eve’s help (along with a potty-mouthed pixy, a trouble-making werewolf, a half-vampire, and a couple of dragons) Gage travels to Grimsley Hollow and together, they embark on a journey that will change them all.

It’s a deadly race against evil, where extraordinary creatures stalk the land under a harvest moon and nightmarish monsters take form.

Gage wanted friends and adventure, but had no idea they would come at such a dangerous price.

Download free on Kindle from Oct 14th through Oct 18th:


Categories: fantasy, free books, young adult adventure, young adult fantasy, young adult paranormal | Tags: , , , , ,

The Truth About Mud: Book Review

The Truth About Mud by Christina L Rozelle

When an evil crow snatches a beloved medallion, young trolls Thistle and Fane have one more reason to venture outside the Clearing. Driven by a thirst for adventure, and anger at their King for sheltering them for far too long, they decide to search for a way across Mangleblood River. What they find will change their lives for all eternity.

They soon discover that the ties of friendship are breakable, lies are as real as the mud they stand in, and what they thought would last forever, is nothing more than an illusion.



My Review:Thistle has already lost her Nan. She can’t bear to lose her medallion too. She’ll do anything to get it back, even if it means defying the troll-king’s orders and crossing the Mangleblood River. Her best friend, Thane, is willing to help her, but will Thistle’s quest change their lives forever?

The Truth About Mud is a yucky, brilliant, enchanting, muddy adventure that readers of any age will love. For me, it was a page-turning story, and though I’m quite a bit older than the intended audience for the book, I absolutely loved it. Kids and teens will love it too because it’s a clever, intelligent book that isn’t afraid to get a little messy. Thistle is a fantastic character. She’s independent, brave, and while she yearns for adventure, she also yearns for a sense of belonging.

I would recommend this book to everyone! It’s a unique, fun, magical story that I’ll probably read again.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy the Book on Amazon

Categories: action, adventure books, book review, children's adventure books, children's books, fantasy, young adult adventure, young adult fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Arkaz: Book Review

dbt presents arkaz

Arkaz by Barakat Akinsiku

Genre: YA MultiCultural Adventure

A young princess. A forced betrothal. The quest for survival.

Princess Kaella of Yatz’s serene world comes to a grinding halt when her tiny village is invaded by forces of the Great Sol, an arch rival of Arkaz, under whose rule her village falls.

Fleeing for her life and from a forced betrothal, she teams up with unlikely allies, searches for her kidnapped sister and hopes to bring back help for her village…

Arkaz Cover

My Review: Princess Kaella is on the verge of being betrothed to the man of her dreams, but upheaval in her kingdom combined with a vicious betrayal threaten all her plans. Now Kaella is forced to choose between love and family, between happiness and duty to her kingdom. With the fate of many resting in her hands, Princess Kaella must grow up far too soon.

Arkaz is the first in a series for young adults. It’s based in an ancient African kingdom where evil witches cast spells, where war is a constant worry, and where young women reach marriageable age at only fourteen. When we meet Kaella, she is preparing for her betrothal ceremony in which she will become officially engaged to marry Yassir, the young man of her dreams. Unfortunately for Princess Kaella, other plans are in the works. She has to make a heartbreaking decision in order to save her family, and as a consequence, she destroys the trust of someone she holds dear.

As the first book in the series, Arkaz leaves a lot unfinished. However, I do find the ending satisfactory. It doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, so I felt the author found a very good stopping point. There’s definitely more adventures in store for Princess Kaella and her entourage and I can see tons of potential with this series and its cast of characters. At times, some of the characters felt a little one-dimensional to me, but I think this is because the plot moved very quickly, particularly toward the ending. I’m looking forward to learning more about Kaella as she faces the challenges ahead.

If you’re looking for a fast-paced, action-packed book with diverse characters and a unique setting, Arkaz might be just what you’re looking for.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Book LinksAmazon  |   Barnes & Noble  |  Smashwords  |  Kobo  |  Connect on Goodreads!

Author Information: Barakat lives in Lagos with her husband, twin sons and pretty daughter. An avid writer, she relaxes by reading a good book, watching documentaries and sketching designs. She is the author of The Surrogacy Deal and Arkaz.

Author LinksWebsite  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


Do you want to learn more about Diverse Book Tours? Click HERE to learn more.

Categories: #WeNeedDiverseBooks, adventure books, book review, diverse book tours, diverse books, multicultural, multicultural books, young adult, young adult adventure, young adult fantasy | Tags: , , , , ,

Review of The Chosen One: Grimsley Hollow Book 1

The Chosen One: Grimsley Hollow Book 1 by Nicole Storey

Eleven-year-old Gage Gilbert is autistic, loves Halloween, and has no friends. He longs to share real adventures – not just those conjured in his head.

A mysterious key leads him to Eve, a young witch from another world called Grimsley Hollow. It’s a place where all magical beings live in safety and peace, but their realm is in trouble. Gage is the only one who can save them from a nefarious witch who has taken control.
And the human world is next on her list.

With Eve’s help (along with a potty-mouthed pixy, a trouble-making werewolf, a half-vampire, and a couple of dragons) Gage travels to Grimsley Hollow and together, they embark on a journey that will change them all.

It’s a deadly race against evil, where extraordinary creatures stalk the land under a harvest moon and nightmarish monsters take form.

Gage wanted friends and adventure, but had no idea they would come at such a dangerous price.

My Review: Gage is an eleven-year-old autistic boy who has been ostracized by the kids at his school. He has a loving family, vivacious little sis who understands him better than anyone, and a tree house that is his refuge. Gage has a great love for Halloween, horror movies, and the paranormal, but he enjoys the supernatural from the safety of his television. Life is comfortable for Gage, but is life fulfilling?  His lonely, safe existence is about to get a lot more complicated when his tree house is ransacked, a mysterious object appears, and an otherworldly girl shows up. Gage is now keeping secrets from his family and is about to embark upon a dangerous mission. How can an autistic kid save an entire world? Read the book to find out.

I fell in love with Gage and the world of Grimsley Hollow. The author has created a multifaceted world where good wars with evil. Vampires and werewolves battle bajangs and evil witches. This is a world where an ordinary human kid can prove that being a hero is more than swinging a sword or fighting the bad guy. In The Chosen One, heroism is about finding hidden courage, facing your deepest fears, and stepping outside your comfort zone to do something extraordinary. It’s about being a true and loyal friend, even when all you want to do is run home and hide under the covers.

The Chosen One is the first book I’ve ever read which features an autistic hero. Gage’s autism is addressed in an open, honest way educators, parents, and kids will appreciate. His autism is only one of many challenges Gage faces in this book. He’s a well-rounded character who is more than his autism. Yes, autism is part of who he is. It creates certain limitations. In this book, the author has shown us that autistic people are people. Gage isn’t special because of his autism or in spite of it. He’s special because he makes a choice to do something amazing. He chooses to be brave. He chooses to help. He chooses to be a friend. Gage is special because he chooses to be.

I would highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys fantasy. It’s classified as middle-grade, but the same adults who loved Harry Potter will enjoy this book as well. It’s filled with spooky adventure and is lots of fun. I can’t wait to get my hands on book two.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy the book on Amazon


Categories: adventure books, book review, children's adventure books, children's books, diverse books, diversity in books, fantasy, paranormal, young adult, young adult adventure, young adult fantasy, young adult paranormal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Frost Series Book Blast

Frost Series Book Blast (Hosted by
First Frost and Glass Frost are only 99 cents each for a limited time!
First Frost
The Frost Series Book # 1
By-Liz DeJesus
Publication Date- June 22, 2012
Published By- Musa Publishing
Fairytales aren’t real…yeah…that’s exactly what Bianca thought. She was wrong.
For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”
Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist.
She’s about to find out how wrong she is.

Glass Frost
The Frost Series Book # 2
By- Liz DeJesus
Publication Date- July 19th, 2013
Published By- Musa Publishing
When joined together, Cinderella’s slippers grant the wearer her heart’s desire. But whose wish will be granted?
When Cinderella’s glass slipper is stolen, Queen Felicia sends her faithful steward Terrance to the real world to retrieve his love and witch-in-training, Bianca Frost. The power of the glass slipper, when paired with its mate, and in the wrong hands, could ruin the peace of Everafter. Bianca must gather every bit of magic she has learned in the past few weeks to find the slipper and protect her new love. Together, Bianca, Ming, Prince Ferdinand, and Terrance venture deep into the heart of Everafter to seek clues as to who has stolen the slipper and why. Along the way, they uncover what happened to the Seven Dwarves after Snow White married the prince, but also learn the awful risk of tampering with black magic and the high price that must be paid for magic, even when used for good.
Bianca and Terrance’s relationship is put to the test. Through the pain of suffering and loss, Bianca must determine if following her gallant boyfriend into his faraway world is in fact her heart’s desire.
About the Author-
Liz DeJesus was born on the tiny island of Puerto Rico. She is a novelist and a poet. She has been writing for as long as she was capable of holding a pen. She is the author of the novel Nina (Blu Phi’er Publishing, October 2007), The Jackets (Arte Publico Press, March 31st 2011) First Frost (Musa Publishing, June 22nd 2012) and Glass Frost (Musa Publishing, COMING SOON).
She is also a member of The Written Remains Writers Guild
Liz is currently working on a new novel.
Categories: authors to watch, book feature, young adult fantasy | Tags:

Misaligned: The Celtic Connection

Misaligned: The Celtic Connection
Book One of the Misaligned Series
By Armen Pogharian
Genre: YA Fantasy

How does a tossed bowl of tapioca close a trans-dimensional portal? And how is it connected to a centuries-old druid artifact? Penny Preston, a gifted teen, who exists in more than three dimensions, plans to find out. Together with her mysterious cat, she struggles to protect our universe from invaders, save her relationship with her best friend, and uncover her connection to Celtic legend.

Buy Misaligned:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

Author Bio: Unlike many authors, Armen was not an early reader. He can honestly say he didn’t voluntarily
read a book until he finished The Hobbit in sixth grade. He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he was an Honorable-Mention All-American swimmer. As a USAF officer he worked on ‘Area 51’ projects – he never saw a single alien (dead or alive). He later earned an MBA from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and spent more than a decade in the high tech and biotech industries. His stories mix elements of science and history with a healthy dose of fantasy. When not writing he enjoys swimming, reading, and the outdoors. He lives in Pittsford, NY with his wife and three children.

Categories: book feature, young adult fantasy | Tags: ,

Interview with Jade M Phillips

We have all sorts of fun planned today. We’re celebrating the release of MER, the highly anticipated young adult fantasy novel by Jade M. Phillips. Not only are we talking with the author about her new book, but we’re also inviting you to hop over to Jade M Phillips’ website for a HUGE giveaway contest.  
Click here to read the official contest rules

ATW: Welcome, Jade. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Jade: I grew up in the Arizona sun where I still reside. As long as I can remember I’ve always loved diving into a good book and coming up with stories of my own. But alongside my obsession with reading and writing books, I have also been an actress, a stunt woman (trained to fall off of tall buildings and do other scary things,) a dance teacher, bartender, the lead singer and back-up guitarist in a rock band, amongst a plethora of other fun and low-paying jobs. I now have my degree in interior design and own a small business. I love my friends and family dearly and enjoy spending time with them. I am well known for setting off the smoke detector in our house weekly by cooking/burning dinner. I also have two adorable children, an extremely wonderful husband, who is very supportive of my writing and chokes down his “dinner” without complaint, and a crazy cat named Willian Wallace Braveheart Fuzzy MacFarland the Third.

ATW: When did you begin writing?

Jade: I’ve been writing short stories, poetry, and songs since grade school and I just now (ok about a year ago) decided to take the plunge and write a novel, and a pretty darn cool one, if I may boast.

ATW: Can you tell us about your book?

Jade: My debut novel is a young adult fantasy titled MER: tome 1 in the MER series. Here is the blurb straight from the back of the book.

In a land where the sea grows restless, the summer breeze turns to ice and sleet, and Mother Nature has plans of another sort, dark and supernatural forces begin to unfold, fighting to unite the broken prophecy. In the midst of a tangled web lie the Castlecrays, a family with deep tragedy and mysterious secrets, who are torn apart and forced on a treacherous journey. Coming from a time when kings rule the realm, knights fight for honor, and eminence is power, the children of Castlecray are thrown into an unknown magical ambiance where nothing is as it seems, and bedtime stories come alive right before their eyes. Sweeping from a land of severe and savage seas to the sparkling underwater spires of a magical unknown world, this is a tale of lords and ladies, knights and nobility, traitors and trolls, who are all intertwined in a weaving maze of conspiracy and deception. Amidst gallantry and guilt, love and loss, the Castlecrays find their fate to be in the hands of their enemies, of each other, and of their new mysterious allies, the Wavekeepers—all vying to keep the balance between good and evil, land and sea, in a fight for the ultimate desire; the power of MER. 

ATW: How did you get the idea for the book?

Jade: This book has a secret. And I am going to give you some VIP information by telling you this… but if you couldn’t already tell by the title, its secret is Merpeople. The idea came from a couple different sources. First of all, my five year old daughter is obsessed with Mermaids, so I guess there is always a Mermaid floating around in the back of my brain. LOL!

Second, my husband and I were up late one night discussing the current trends in young adult fantasy books (my fave of course). We were talking about Vampires and Werewolves, Zombies, and Faeries, when I was like, “Wait! What about Mermaids?” And thus: MER was born! 

ATW: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your novel?

Jade: Doubting myself. Like I said earlier, I have been writing a long time, but never a novel. I eventually pushed through and gained confidence with the help of family, friends, and critiques (and many revisions.) And also editing was very challenging and time consuming. Even though I hired an editor, who was incredibly wonderful, I still DO NOT enjoy editing. LOL!

ATW: Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

Jade: Ooooh, that’s a hard one. I have so many that I love. I’d have to say Quin. She’s a feisty, tomboyish ten year old girl who isn’t afraid to speak her mind; quite the contrary to the lady of nobility that she is expected to be. She cracks me up by always getting into trouble!

ATW: Which character was the most challenging to write?

Jade: Price Tolan was a bit challenging, although I love him dearly. He is an awkward young prince of 15 years old, and he has a st…st…stutter.

ATW: Which authors have inspired your writing?

Jade: This is hard because I like to think of my writing as unique in itself, but I will say that I read a lot of J.K.Rowling, George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan, Diana Gabeldon, and Laini Taylor.

ATW: What projects are you currently working on?

Jade: I am currently writing the next book in the MER series, MER: tome 2. It’s going to be fantastic! I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

ATW: How do you handle unfavorable reviews?

Jade: That’s hard to answer, since I have had no bad reviews yet. But this is how I see it: Everyone’s tastes are different. There could be an academy award winning movie out there and there will still be people that don’t like it.

ATW: What songs/artists are on the playlist for your book?

Jade: I don’t have a specific playlist, although to keep that sort of renaissance/medieval feeling of my book while I’m writing, I put on the Celtic music station on Pandora radio, which is calming and helps the words flow. But when I need an energy boost I will put on some hip hop or dance music. 

ATW: Do you have any special skills, education, or hobbies that enhance your writing abilities?

Jade: I have my degree in interior design, which led me to take a lot of furniture and art history classes. This definitely helps me paint a picture of the scene for the reader.

ATW: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Jade: Persistence! Being an author means being on a rollercoaster of emotions. You will have days where you believe your work to be brilliant, and others, it’s garbage. Don’t give up. Just push through, believe in yourself, and write the best book you can!

ATW: For readers interested in learning more about MER, please visit the following links:

Buy MER on Amazon (paperback) 
Buy MER on Amazon (Kindle) 
Jade’s Blog Contest going on now! 1/13/13- 1/17/13
MER’s fan page.
Follow Jade on Twitter
Jade on Goodreads
Amazon author page
MER Book Trailer now released! 

Categories: interviews, young adult fantasy

Book Review: Reflections – Eternal Curse

Reflections – Eternal Curse
By J. Dorothy
Published Oct 8, 2012
My Rating 5 out of 5 stars

Jo doesn’t know why she inherited a magical ring.

She doesn’t know why her father abandoned her when she was a baby, or the truth about her mother’s death.

Jo doesn’t know a lot about her past.

But she’s about to find out.

Nearing her eighteenth birthday, she’s about to discover what really happened to her father all those years ago.

She’s on a new path, a path including her first love, a path that will lead to the truth about a family secret held for generations.

Jo’s about to face her first real challenge.

‘Reflections’ is just the beginning.


I had the pleasure of reading this book ages ago when it was posted on a writer’s site. When I found out it had been picked up by a publisher, I was really excited and looked for it ever since. It’s always interesting to see how an early draft on a work-shopping site evolves after the author and publisher work together to turn a manuscript into a masterpiece.

Reflections is the first book in a trilogy and is a very strong start to the series. In this Young Adult Fantasy novel, we meet sisters, Jo and Gabriella. Due to their wicked aunt Rowelyn and a secret family curse, the two sisters are complete opposites. While Gabriella is vivacious, outgoing, and gorgeous, Jo is reserved, quiet, and possesses an understated beauty. The differences between the two sisters reach much deeper – while Jo is kind and selfless, Gabriella hides a manipulative and selfish nature under her lovely facade. Can we blame the curse for Gabriella’s less appealing qualities? Or, is it Gabriella’s choices that make her who she is?
While the reader is pondering the age-old question of nature versus nurture, we’re also taken on a wild ride as mysteries are carefully unwrapped and secrets are revealed. Whereas in most fantasy novels, magic is often the medicine that cures the characters’ ills, in Reflections magic is the problem. Jo doesn’t set out to fight magic with magic; she seeks to solve her problems with determination, common sense, and intelligence.
In the midst of a race against time plot, the ultimate sibling rivalry, and the rapidly unfolding mystery, we also have two unique romantic stories and brilliantly crafted secondary characters that really help to round out this story. I enjoyed every moment of this story and can’t wait until the next books in the series are released.
To buy a copy of the book, visit Amazon US or Amazon UK
Categories: book review, young adult fantasy | Tags: ,

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