Saturday, June 29, 2013

Kerry Taylor Interview

Interview with author Kerry Taylor!

 1.What inspires you to write? 
At the moment, ideas pop into my mind all the time.  When, I am at the gym, in front of the television, at the supermarket even on the toilet ( I know too much information). Foremost, when I am at work and I think I hate this job so much, I need to write full-time.

2. Which author do you most aspire to be like?
HM Ward, is an indie inspiration at the moment to so many authors.  My heroine Jackie Collins, not sure I can aspire to be as great as her, but there is no harm in trying.  I love the idea of writing books and people enjoying them both men and women.  It is amazing the amount of men that love chick-lit, I had no idea.

3.      Who is your biggest supporter?
My boyfriend is at times, then at others my second son, my daughter is my least, she spends most of her time trying to sit on the laptop. Think I spend too much time on there.  Actually, since I published my first book in March, I have not advertised that I am a writer.


4.      Do you prefer cookies or ice cream?
Ice-cream wins hands down.

5.      What's your favorite summertime activity?
Relaxing at the beach and paddling in the sea. No, I still can’t swim. Skating in the park – I must perfect that this summer. Generally, just being outdoors and having fun with the kids. From throwing the frisbees to flying a kite.

6.      What made you want to become a writer?
I never wanted to be a writer, I have always written poetry.  I thought I would try my hand at writing romantic comedies and the more I read the more I write, it is like a disease, just too addictive.

7.      What's the hardest thing you've had to overcome about being an author?
I have started writing fiction and it is so hard to be a certain character. With chick-lit it is easy with the happy endings but the sad endings, I cry so many times.

8.      Do you like pull-over sweatshirts or zip-up jackets better?
Zip-up jackets – you got it flaunt it!

9.      What advice do you have for people who hope to become authors?
It is one of the hardest jobs in the world and you have to be prepared to work, it is not for the faint-hearted. If you can’t take rejection, criticism and hardship (lack of sleep) this is not the job for you.

10. Thank you! Is there anything else you'd like to say?

Life is what you make it – this is what I keep telling myself each and every day.  Whenever I feel like crap, I have to put this hat on, so I know if I want it to be better - I have to work that bit harder!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Kilingiri Book Review

Kilingiri

By Janna Gray

At first I had a hard time getting into Kilingiri. There was a lot of description and very little dialog in the first chapter. Nina Maitland is very pregnant in Srinagar India. The author describes it beautifully and I could almost feel and smell the scene. However, it opens with a very long explanation of why Nina is unmarried, pregnant and alone on a houseboat. It just seemed a lot of back story so soon in the book. But the plot comes back to the present afterward and flows pretty well from then on.

Kilingiri spans over thirty years in the life of Nina and her family, her loves and losses. There are several destinations throughout from Kilingiri, Thailand, Ireland, and England to France. The author introduces each setting with vivid description that sets the mood for that section. After which the reader is not bogged down by heavy description. It instead concentrates on character development and dialog.

Nina and Father Michael McKinley are characters that surprise the reader with their reactions to the situations presented to them. I was in disbelief on the things they faced and how they seemed to face them with positive attitudes for the most part. I would've cut my losses several times during the trials Nina experienced. She is an exceptionally strong character with a good heart. She doesn't always make sound decisions but she sticks by her decisions, showing a person of personal strength.

I didn't like all the things that happened in Kilingiri. I thought some plot devices were a bit too simplistic or then alternately too dramatized, but once I got further into the book I was able to take it for it was. The subject matter made this just an ok read for me, but with great description, lively dialog, a choice of time period that really works, and a plot that kept me wondering "ok, what could possibly happen now?" I have to give it 4 of 5 stars.

The plot has drama, steadfast love, exotic locales- well to me who has only been to the Caribbean- some intrigue and an ending that brings everything together nicely.

I recommend this read for those who believe in forever love and those who like to travel, if only by book.

Read more reviews by Cherese Vines at www.cheresevinescharmingwords.wordpress.com

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Brethless Novelette Series Tour

Suffocate #1 in The Breathless Novelette series

Suffocate is the first novelette in THE BREATHLESS series. It is a 15,000 word young adult thriller that combines the dystopic and science fiction genres.

For centuries, the world outside the Biome has been unlivable. Today, marks the first time anyone will attempt to leave the suffocating ecosphere. Eria is not worried because her scientist father has successfully tested the new Bio-Suit many times. 

It's a celebratory day until something goes horribly wrong. In the midst of tragedy, Eria uncovers a deep conspiracy in her perfect bubble. If those responsible find out what she knows, they won't stop hunting her until she takes her last breath.

The 2nd novelette in the series, CHOKE, is scheduled for June 2013. The 3rd, EXHALE, is scheduled for Winter 2013



Choke, #2 in The Breathless Novelette series
 
When Eria escapes her home in the Biome, she uncovers more about her
features and specifications as a HumaNot. Following her father's
instructions, Eria embarks on a journey into a dangerous and unpredictable world.

Along the way, she encounters a young rebel, Dirk, 
who explains he's from the Anarchy, an underground human resistance rising up against the BOTs--advanced man-made robots gone wild. Together, Dirk and Eria battle underground serpents, desert dingos, sand storms, and advanced Bots that are always hot on their trail. As they become closer, Dirk reveals his hatred of machines, forcing Eria to hidethe secret of what and who she really is.

When the truth of her identity comes out, Eria is forced to become the very thing she hates the most.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Girls State/Boys State


GIRLS STATE REVIEW BY TASHANICOLE
A weeklong adventure packed with tons of information about our local and national government, Girls State was an experience I do not regret. I made tons of new friends and learned a lot more. 
We all had the opportunity to run for official positions. I was the states' attorney for the mock trial held Friday morning, and I was elected the position of a city council member. I also ran for county Sheriff, but many people also ran, and I lost. But I helped our Alternate Senator win her position and helped my other friend campaign for Governor.  
The week has left me extremely tired (which is why this is such a short post), but definitely not hungry; the food was great! I took away some key things from the experience, and many people found passions for the government and politics they did not know they previously had. Many only went because it looks good on college applications and ended up having the time of their lives. I would definitely recommend this program to high school juniors because who knows, you could end up being one of those people whose lives are changed (for the better) by attending. 

BOYS STATE REVIEW BY QUENTIN KENT (taken from Facebook!)
 Boys State was one of the best, if not the best, experiences of my life. While the hours were very long and the content trying at times, it made me a more respectable, intellectual, and obedient young person. Most importantly, it made me a refined and proud American. We often take this random and lucky attribute of being born an American and do not grasp the depths of its meaning. I have now talked to veterans who have nearly died for our flag, the symbol of freedom. I have seen people who, despite still being in high school, dedicate their lives to being politically educated Americans or even more honorable, i have seen others my age in ROTC programs. These brilliant young men are willing to give up the lifestyle of a regular teenager in order to prepare to defend my rights and yours, which happen to be some of the most sought after rights in the entire world. Please honor these brave, humble, and oftentimes unsupported heroes by thanking them for their efforts. Please, if you have children that are going to be juniors in high school, enter them into the boys state program. Most importantly of all, please VOTE. This is the sole responsibility of an American. It is DISGUSTING how low voter turnouts have been in recent years, and i have no problem saying you should feel ashamed if you do not take advantage of this precious right that millions have died for, a right that many countries have war for, and a right that in the absence of, you would have no say in how the government controls your life. It is a disrespect to all troops, dead or alive, to not participate in this quadrennial event. Look at a soldier with a missing arm, a soldier separated from their family in a foreign land, a soldier wearing the stars and stripes of America, and tell them you didn't vote. They will feel as though all they have done is in vain. Please always vote. Wake up every day and think how lucky you are to be an American. Look at the flag humbly. Thank all troops and government officials for serving you, the people of this prized land. Boys state teaches you RESPECT, INTEGRITY, and EMPATHY, three characteristics that will make any person patriotic. By investing yourself (if you are not yet a junior) or your child into this, you are investing into the future of America. This week, I have absolutely no doubt that I was surrounded by future delegates, senators, congressman, doctors, lawyers, and military leaders. The people there were collectively the most respectful, intelligent, and honorable young men and adults I have ever met in my entire life. Graduates of Boys State really are going to be leaders, heroes, or successful in anything that they pursue, and for that reason I feel honored to be one myself. I started this week a blind and naive person. With teamwork, dedication, and a few tears, I ended a true American and a leader. Thank you for reading this, thank you to any fellow boys staters, thank you if you serve me and other Americans in government as an elected official, and thank you if you are a soldier. If you invest in boys state, there will be no regrets or hard feelings, but instead honor, joy, integrity, respect, empathy, success, and a better you. May God bless voters, government officials, troops, and anyone else who helps uphold what it means to be an American. May God bless America.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rachel Who? - Guest Post by Tasha Haight

This poem is a parody of Sandra Cisneros' "Abuelito Who" to fit the personality of Barbara Kingsolver's Rachel Price from the Posionwood Bible

Rachel Who
by Tasha Haight

Rachel who whines like a sad dog
and wishes to leave
who is clothes and nail polish
who is a plane and a ticket out of Africa
whose hair is made of silk
is too concerned with herself everyday
who tells me in Afrikaans Want so lief het God die...
who tells me in French Car Dieu a tant aime le monde...
whose eyes are skies
can't escape Africa
sleeps in her Equatorial hotel
who used to despise all of Africa
is selfish
is a Barbie tied to this land
is stuck man oh man
doesn't live in America anymore
is rich in the French Congo
who has lived here for long oh
is martinis and cigarettes and friends
who marries men time and time and time again
is the Fourth of July of her family
wishing to leave
to leave where to?


Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Ignorant Voice of Rachel Price in Barbara Kingsolver's The Posionwood Bible - A Guest Post by Tasha Haight


The Ignorant Voice of Rachel Price in Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible
by Tasha Haight
The oldest of Orleanna's four children, Rachel Rebeccah Price, should be the most aware of the happenings occurring around her, yet she appears to only be interested in one thing - herself.      In Barbara Kingsolver's novel The Poisonwood Bible, Kingsolver uses clichés and malapropisms to create Rachel's nescient voice thereby illustrating the stereotypical American citizen's ignorance concerning Congolese politics.
            Rachel is the personification of American society, so it seems only fitting for Kingsolver to include several clichés in each of Rachel's vignettes.  Common clichés are actually how this real-life Barbie complains about her highly unfortunate situation she is stuck in.  When Rachel exclaims "I always wanted to be the belle of the ball, but, jeepers, is this ever the wrong ball", she is using her unpleasant attitude and well-known statements to juxtapose her experience in the Congo with a high scale ball (Kingsolver 269). This plays into how she is brighter than she appears to be and how she chooses which parts of her knowledge she wants to show off, much like how many Americans actually retain more information in their brain than they choose to express.
            To elaborate on Rachel's naïveté and overall ignorance, Rachel commonly exclaims statements that are popular with American teenagers.  She uses some clichés, such as "the twelfth of never", to exaggerate the extent of her misfortunes (Kingsolver 256).  When bringing up "the twelfth of never", she is talking about how long it will be until the Fowleses return to Kilanga to help her family get through this tough time.  This cliché connects Rachel to the other teenage Americans, the ones who are still enjoying their American carelessness while Rachel must endure the harsh jungle life, by containing some typical American phrases mixed with the immense exaggeration commonly executed by the average teenage American female. She also uses "slang".  Some of the slang terms she commands, such as "Man oh man" and "jeez", which tend to be some of Rachel's favorite sayings, clearly define Rachel as being a typical blonde-hair, blue-eyed, American teenage girl. 
            Throughout this political allegory, Rachel will oftentimes choose to ignore the important interactions going on right up the river from her and in her own village, just as the typical American will sometimes choose to ignore important happenings in the Congo.  While she knows about the issues of the Congolese government, Rachel turns a blind eye and instead of becoming more educated about these problems. She is more focused on what she can gain for herself, in a way similar to that of most Americans, who tend to only concern themselves with information pertaining to them.  When her faux fiancé, Eeben Axelroot, tries to relay confidential information from the American government to his Princess, Rachel simply dismisses it by saying, "Oh, it's all a game I'm sure" (Kingsolver 370).  She is personally being told what is about to happen to Patrice Lumumba and the current government of the Congo, yet she feels as if it is nothing she would need to concern herself with because she is not directly involved in these political changes.  Rachel also fails to completely understand the situation unfolding in front of her.  It is not uncommon for most Americans to be in the same mindset that Rachel is, and this is something Kingsolver likes to illustrate within Rachel's character.   
            Although not as smart as Leah and Adah, Rachel is certainly not dumb - Adah even notes how "she wears those pale white eyes around her neck so she can look in every direction and ward off the attack"  - but she tends to pass over anything she may have trouble comprehending, instead of looking into it a bit further to see what she could uncover and learn about the subject (Kingsolver 491).  Americans are put in a stereotype as being "lazy", and mental laziness is definitely something that is factored into that generalization.  Knowing something major is going on and not wanting to find out more about it would very much fall into that "lazy" category that Americans are placed under, and Rachel's unwillingness to find out more about the secret missions Axelroot is telling her about portrays this American laziness towards gaining insight on a particular subject, such as the American undertaking of the Congolese government.
            In order to maintain this facade, Rachel does appear to be a little "mixed up" about some of the words she tries to use.  Her malapropisms play into her uneducated ignorance in the microcosm of her family relations and issues, but also in the macrocosm of the American citizen's overall uneducated ignorance towards the relations of America's government and President Eisenhower and how his actions are affecting the Congo.  Her malapropisms aren't just limited to a certain type of word, either.  Even everyday words that seem like one would know when to use, such as participation, she says incorrectly, claiming "every person in the village is to be there, required precipitation" (Kingsolver 336).  Being raised in a very strong Baptist family, and even being made fun of back home for it, as is made clear when Rachel tells readers "oh boy, if those fast cheerleaders who teased me for being a preacher's kid could see me now . . .", one would think Rachel could not possibly make a religious malapropism, yet she does (Kingsolver 270).  When describing the Underdowns, she says "They are Episcopotamians", when in reality she means to say they are Episcopalian (Kingsolver 159).  For being considered highly religious, because of her father, she doesn't appear to know about religions other than her own, adding to her overall ignorance.  The wide range of malapropisms Rachel uses represents her misunderstanding of words as much as her misunderstandings of the events happening around her, and on the larger scale they symbolize the misunderstandings many Americans have of the imposing role of foreign government to the Congolese's government.  Although what she is trying to say can still be understood by readers, much like the general glimpses into Congolese politics may still be understood by Americans, the true meaning is lacking.  Unlike the reader's ability to recognize the malapropisms and notice that some diction used is not what Rachel intended to say, sometimes average Americans cannot recognize when newscasts slip up and give them a misunderstanding of information, further leading to America's ignorance on these political issues.
            When first beginning her journey, Rachel is a mere fifteen year-old, yet she is already a major icon for America.  Her white skin, long blonde hair, and blue eyes certainly stand out to the local Congolese as much as their nudity stands out to her.  It is not until later, however, that one realizes that Rachel is more than simply a symbol for the typical American; her attitudes toward the scandalous government connections between the American and Congolese government reflect the general attitudes of those in America towards those same governmental issues as much as her praised mirror reflected the face of whomever looked into it.



Work Cited
Kingslover, Barbara. The Posionwood Bible. New York: HarperCollins, 1998. Print.


Friday, June 14, 2013

American Freak Book Review

American Freak from The Young Saints Series by Jim Alexander Rice is about three guys who do what a lot of us would like to do: clean up the crime in America.

Miles Seymour Dane is our narrator through the escapades of three young men over a year of “citizen’s arrests,” thousands of dollars of reward money and good intentions gone wrong.

Miles, Herb and E.R. decide to go after the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Each chapter is a written account of events of each capture. Miles has an exceptionally high IQ and has a photographic memory and little respect for authority. He seems to always look for trouble. Herb’s technology know-how and ability to get just about anything contributes greatly in their searches. E.R. is the muscle.

When I first started this book, I had the image of a Law and Order episode. Miles recounts the date, time and place of every capture. Due to his photographic memory, if Miles mentions something like a song he cites the author and year. This is done pretty consistently in the first couple of chapters. As the story progress, however, these details start to slip. Miles starts to record occurrences that have nothing to do with the captures but more to do with their lives which changes the feel of the story for me.

The story becomes more about a group of barely 20-year-olds with a lot of reward money and hardly any wisdom. Their good intentions become lost in too much money and time, and disillusionment with the American justice system.

The characters are diverse. We get background on Miles and E.R. however Herb is a mystery. I suppose readers will find out more about him in later books. He seems to be the one with the skills, connections and know-how while the narrator Miles just seems along for the ride. I thought Miles should have had a more proactive role besides recording events and spouting facts. I’m still trying to figure out his contribution otherwise.

The setting mostly takes place in the California area where the three vigilantes set up headquarters although Miles is from the East Coast. There is nothing about this setting or the other places they visit in rapid succession that contribute to the plot.

The plot does get preachy in parts and becomes a speech rather than fiction. The narrator says this in the first paragraph:
“If I were you I’d stop reading right now, at this very moment. There’s no reason to get involved with it all, because in the end it will only infuriate you. You will see everything we had done and not like the outcome. Not one bit.”

I will agree with the narrator, I was not happy with the ending—not because it wasn’t exciting—but more of the “What are they thinking?” variety. Still, American Freak is worth a look. Reading would be boring if the characters did what the reader thought they should do. This is a different read for me and not something I would normally pick up, but I recommend it for a quick read. It’s a “what I wish I could do and say” kind of adventure. For mature readers only.

Rating 3.5/5


Read more reviews by Cherese Vines and www.cheresevinescharmingwords.wordpress.com

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Super Spies Guest Post

It’s Here! The third book in the Super Spies Series! Below are the cover, blurb, and an excerpt! Check it out!


To celebrate this new release the first two books are on sale for $.99! Check it out! It’s a series you won’t want to miss!
This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission.  The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…
This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?
Chapter One

“What do you mean you lost them?” Sarah Cole fidgeted as she waited for Agent Gray to answer. I can’t believe it! He lost the only clue to our parents’ location. What is wrong with this picture? Agitated, Sarah shifted in her seat and chewed on her lip. She was uncomfortable in the folding chair and rearranged her petite frame so she wouldn’t feel the cold metal against her bare legs. Shivering, she glanced around the all-too-familiar room.
The gray cement block walls no longer gave her that creepy, closed-in feeling she’d used to get when she first came to the interrogation rooms. She remembered the first time she’d been in that tiny space. It had been the day she’d discovered the Cat Lady’s dead body. Sarah shuddered at the memory and then smiled when she remembered forming the Super Spies and bringing the Cat Lady Killer to justice. Glancing around the room again, she realized she’d been in this room quite a bit these last few weeks, not only during the Cat Lady investigation, but the High School Bomber investigation as well. Shivering again, Sarah rubbed her arms but she really wasn’t cold. Her mind filled with the image of the bomber the Super Spies had helped apprehend just a week earlier.
Wow! Was it just last week?
She tugged at a lock of her honey colored hair, then brushed it away with an impatient hand. She sighed and glanced at her younger sister. Lacey sat beside her with her legs crossed, jiggling her foot at such a rapid rate it seemed like her whole body was electrified. She caught Sarah’s eye and for a moment her eyes glittered like emeralds before she shifted her gaze to Aunt June, who had placed her hand on Lacey’s leg in what appeared to be an attempt to quiet her. Sarah shifted in her chair and sighed again. Are we ever going to find Mom and Dad?
A commotion out in the hall drew everyone’s attention. Sarah leaned forward
and craned her neck to see what was happening.
“Chief, we’ve got an OD!” An officer yelled.
“What?” Chief Johnson yelled as he rushed by. “An OD on what? Give me the details.”
“The parents found their son unconscious in his room this morning, and an empty bottle of prescription medication on his bedside table.”
“What was it?” Chief Johnson asked.
“It’s Myodine.”
“Who makes it?”
“Ah… Piper Drugs.”
“Call Poison Control with the name and manufacturer and ask them what to do about an overdose. Instruct the parents to get their son to the hospital pronto,” Chief Johnson ordered.
“They’ve brought him here.”
“What?” Chief Johnson exclaimed.
The sound of policemen rushing through the hall pulled Sarah and her sister out of their seats. They hurried to the door, unable to stifle their curiosity. Peering down the corridor, Sarah caught a glimpse of a young man sagging between two officers as they desperately tried to keep him on his feet. One officer gently slapped his face while the other officers held him up. The young man blinked and then gagged, puking on the officer in front of him.
The rancid stench of fresh vomit filled the air. While plugging her nose, Sarah ducked back inside the interrogation room, followed by her sister. Sarah closed the door, hoping it would keep the smell from penetrating the room.
“Did you hear that, Lace? Piper Drugs! That’s the company Dad works for,” Sarah whispered in her sister’s ear before proceeding back to her seat.
Lacey opened her mouth to speak, but closed it when Agent Gray cleared his
throat and motioned for them to sit down.
He continued his conversation as if they hadn’t been interrupted. We were on our way to the location of the ping… but before we got there it disappeared.”
“So, what does that mean? Did you find our parents or what?” Sarah blurted out as she sat down. She stared into Agent Gray’s icy blue eyes, trying to read his mind.

Social Media Links:




Buylinks:

“The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer”







“The Super Spies and the High School Bomber”





“The Super Spies and the Pied Piper”







Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Kerry Taylor Guest Post (continued)

Kerry Taylor previously did a guest post with us but would like the following to be annexed on:

Why Writing Is A Physical Therapy?
I release my constipation of frustrations, anxieties and demons in my mind.  Writing allows me to imagine being in a different place, which at times is a good place, but lately most of the time it is a bad place.  After the discharge, I feel the need to cleanse all the demons within and I am able to run with the wind as I jog at night.  Or continue to liberate the frustrations during my spinning class.  Writing brings so much joy to my life, which I never dreamed were possible.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Clip in hair extensions

Videos

Sorry about the videos not having sound, for some reason my phone doesn't record sound.
HairExtensionDeal.Com currently has a special going where if you buy something, you'll receive a free extension, either a colorful single extension or a feather extension. These are cute accessories that can be easily added to any outfit! This deal should really be taken advantage of.

Feather extension

Friday, June 7, 2013

Talented Book Review


Talented by Sophie Davis is the first in the Talented series. Natalia Lyons is only eighteen, but at the McDonough School for the Talented she is an exceptional Mind Manipulator (she can read and influence others’ minds). Her only goal is to enter the Hunter program with TOXIC, a government agency, and avenge her parents’ deaths.

The book takes place during her Senior year which is her Pledge year, where she trains with a team and prepares her for her solo mission that will determine whether she graduates and becomes a Hunter. It doesn’t help that she is one of only a few female Hunters. Things are also complicated when Talia’s love life begins to interfere with her training.

Talented flows well and Talia has an easy voice to follow, so it is an easy read. Talia’s character is tough, yet vulnerable enough to identify with. I was able to get a pretty clear idea of who she was. The supporting cast is decent although some secondary characters didn’t differentiate in my mind. I would have liked a clearer image of Donovan, her best friend and boyfriend, who is also a Hunter with TOXIC. When I finished the book, I had to go back and skim to remember what Talent he had.

The setting is detailed and convincing. It takes place in a future where the Talented have telekinesis or can morph into animals among other cool “powers.” I was impressed with the details of everyday life as well as government involvement in the setting and the plot. I think it is the details that give this book credibility. There were several times that I felt like, “Oh, I didn’t think of that. Good point.” These were things that I would’ve easily overlooked, but then after thinking back I would want clarification on. The author was really on top of these minute details.

Talented also has a lot of action in it and the scenes are clear and well paced. It has you glued to the page throughout. There are places where it slows as we follow Talia through training and such, but it overall keeps a good pace.

The dialog is realistic and playful or intense when it needs to be without being theatrical. There is a good deal of dialog that occurs in Talia’s mind. I thought it was handled pretty well. There are only a few parts that seemed weird about it.

I didn’t give it 5 out of 5 because there are times that the plot does push it a little bit and there is a revelation that I did not agree with. However, I enjoyed this story and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series to see how Talia handles all the information she gained in this first book. I recommend this book to readers who like science-fiction, romance and espionage. There are some really cool gadgets in there.

Rating 4/5