Month: November 2013

The Colors of the Painted Maidens by Terra Harmony | Guest Post + Giveaway

Posted November 4, 2013 by Jana in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post / 0 Comments



Welcome to my stop along the Painted Maidens tour! Terra Harmony is here to tell us all about her book, and the colors she thought of while writing it. Thanks, Terra, for keeping my love of colors in mind when you decided on this post!

The Colors of the Painted Maidens
by Terra Harmony

The Rising, book one of the Painted Maidens Trilogy, will be released November 8th.  Get ready for mermaids and werewolves everyone!  In every book I write, I try to bring a little ‘eco-awareness’ into them. For The Rising, the eco part is very subdued. In the first book of the series, my main goal is to really get readers to fall in love with the ocean and all the creatures in it. It is a whole new, amazing world – right on our own planet. The textures and even the colors can all come across as very unique, and beautiful in their own way.

I know how much Jana loves colors, so as a guest on her blog I wanted to talk about the colors of the Painted Maidens in my book, which reflect all the colors of the ocean itself. I’m going to share a few excerpts with you that hopefully conjure some awesome imagery in your own minds. Here is something from the second chapter, and it gives you an idea of the world Serena (our main character) lives in:

The entire journey home Serena works to block out the hyper, overactive vibe of her peers, instead concentrating on the world around her. She turns her head as she swims, emitting a series of whistles and clicks.

The vibrations ruffle the scales of those ahead of her. Some glance back, annoyed, but most have learned to ignore her by now. The sounds return to Serena, and the underwater world shifts from blurry, darkened forms into sharp, focused shapes.

Rockfish loiter in and out of the kelp forest along the shore while the plants move, occasionally allowing shafts of moonlight to pierce deeper into the ocean. Where the bottom shallows out and rock changes to powdery white sand, candy-striped shrimp dart among sea anemones, immune to the sting. A brown and yellow decorated warbonnet peers out with large eyes from behind soft pink coral. The skittish eel-like fish retreats as the caste column passes. Farther out to sea, Serena spots the silhouettes of a pod of orcas skimming the surface, their sleek, black dorsal fins slicing through open air.

A little further into the book, all of the mermaids (called Undine) are together in the Great Hall. This is where I really try to portray colors of the ocean through the Undine themselves, including the bioluminescence found in deeper waters:

The largest room of the kingdom is packed with the Undine. The expansive ceiling is bare, with most of the larger stalactites long since removed. Underneath it, a mob of Undine stand shoulder to shoulder. They smell as bitter as a kelp forest, the stench so thick in the air Serena could almost taste it. She watches Mariam run her tongue through her mouth in distaste.

Serena smiles to herself. Mariam is not used to crowds, either.

The amount of scales vary on each of the Undine, though most don their protective armor up to their necks because it is simply too difficult to remove. There are deep reds, pinks, silvers, golds, and the occasional green, like crowded corals packed onto a cliff, clamoring to reach the best nutrients.

Serena’s dark blue and Mariam’s brown help them blend in to the shadows of the cliff that hangs over them. Only Ervin’s scales stand out, if anything because of their modesty. They are light, dull brown, as is the same with most males, lacking the vibrant colors of Undine maidens.

The only family to sport orange – the Sunbeam family, aptly named – stand together, their collective color shining out like a beacon.

In the Great Hall, bioluminescent hair of most still glows like stimulated jellyfish. The radiance smolders out as the minutes pass after they’ve surfaced. An almost coordinated wave of dying embers, rolling through the crowd all the way to the back.

In Undine Society, only one merman sports colors other than light brown – the king himself. In fact, his tail is said to contain all of the hues of the Undine Painted Maidens. The next excerpt is a brief scene during the final battle, with the king making his grand entrance topside.

 Just as the tides begin to turn, a fresh group of wolves arrive. This pack is led by Alaric. Serena grits her teeth at the howl he emits. But Alaric’s call is answered by another. It is a deep rumble, moving in from the ocean. All eyes turn toward the water, Undine and wolf alike.

King Merrick sits on top of the whale rock, summoning the water. The sea obliges, rising up at his command.

The king looms above the water. His multicolored scales glisten in the sunlight, lighting up the rock and the water that surrounds it like a rainbow. The king rides the arched kaleidoscope of colors like he has done it his entire life.

I hope you have enjoyed the glimpse into my book. Please let me know what you think either by leaving a comment, and don’t forget to enter the contest!

Thanks for stopping by, Terra!

If you would like to learn more about the Painted Maidens books or Terra, visit one of the following links:
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Book: Goodreads

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Revelations by J.A. Souders | Book Review + Giveaway

Posted November 1, 2013 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult Fiction / 7 Comments

Revelations by J.A. Souders | Book Review + GiveawayRevelations by J.A. Souders
Series: Elysium Chronicles #2
Published by Tor Teen on November 5, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Mail)
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4.5 Stars

Six weeks after her arrival on the Surface, Evelyn Winters is no closer to unlocking the memories lost in her subconscious than she was when she first came. Isolated in a strange new society, Evie has only Gavin Hunter to remind her of who she once was.

But even with a clean slate, it’s easy to see that Evie doesn’t fit in on the Surface. And as her differences make her feel more and more alone, she can’t help but yearn for that place she doesn’t remember: the isolated city hidden in the depths of the ocean. Elysium. Home.

But she can’t exactly tell Gavin what she’s feeling. Not when he’s the one who helped her escape Elysium in the first place, and has the scars to prove it. Though the doctors say otherwise, Gavin believes that Evie just needs time. And if her memories don’t come back, well, maybe she’s better off not remembering her past.

But the decision may be out of their hands when Evie’s ever-elusive memories begin to collide with reality. People and images from her past appear in the most unlikely places, haunting her, provoking her…and making her seem not only strange but dangerous.

Evie and Gavin can’t wait around for her memories to return. They’ll have to journey across the Outlands of the Surface to find help, and in the end, their search may just lead them back to the place it all started…

Welcome to my stop along the Revelations blog tour, hosted by Rockstar Book Tours! I’m sure you remember how much I LOVED the first book in this series, Renegade, so I was absolutely delighted to be put on this blog tour! By the way, seeing as how this is book #2 in a series, there will most likely be spoilers for book #1. You’ve been warned! Revelations was amazing! I really loved it. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Revelations is written in dual perspectives from both Gavin and Evelyn. I really liked getting to know Gavin better by reading his thoughts, and thought this way a great way to add another exciting element to the story.

2. The book started off a little slow for me, but once things picked up I loved being in this crazy world again! This time we start out in Gavin’s village, with a self-destructing Evie who has no memory of her former life. This lack of memory is seriously dangerous, because she does crazy things and also yearns for returning to the most dangerous place she’s ever been to: Elysium. In the hopes of restoring her memory, Gavin decides he must take her across the dangerous Outlands to the big city for medical attention. Visas are required, though, which will only happen in Gavin’s former best friend goes with them. So, the three set out across the desert to find the city, all the while dodging man-eating vulture-hawks, acid lakes, and coyotes.

3. I really, really like Asher. A lot. I’m having a hard time deciding whether I like him or Gavin better, actually. He’s very suave and he cares a lot about Evie. We get to see a lot of him during the journey through the Outlands, and I love his story and his mysterious nature.

4. Just as J.A. built the awesome world of Elysium, she built a wonderful one in The Outlands. It’s a crazy, crazy, creepy place! I love her creativity.

5. The writing is still absolutely lovely.

6. We learn so many things! Secrets are revealed, and I was just in awe.

I don’t want to spoil anything by giving more away, so I will end my review here. Revelations is full of exciting moments, crazy twists and turns, and wonderful characters. I loved getting more glimpses into the lives of these people, I loved learning more about these worlds, and I loved the sweet relationships that have developed and grown more since Renegade. I can’t WAIT for the next book!


About the Author: J.A. Souders

J.A. SOUDERS is the author of the Elysium Chronicles and lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and two children where she spends her time writing about the monsters under the bed, day dreaming about living in an underwater colony, and failing miserably at playing video games.

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revelations tour

Tour Schedule:

Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsGuest Post
Katie’s Book BlogInterview
The Book LifeReview
Curling Up With A Good BookGuest Post
That Artsy Reader GirlReview
Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
Supernatural SnarkInterview
Book Haven ExtraordinaireReview
Jenna Does BooksReview

4.5 Stars