Thursday, August 18, 2011

Forbidden by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee, Interview with Tosca Lee, and Forbidden Giveaway

Hundreds of years in the future, after human greed and hatred destroyed much of the world in an apocalyptic war, a new empire arises. Perfect peace reigns, but there is a secret. Every single soul on the earth is dead. Down to their very strands of DNA, they are no longer human. The only thing they feel is fear.

Their is only a small hope. A young artist named Rom is given a strange vial and vellum by an old man trembling with fear. Upon examination, Rom learns a sip from the vial of ancient blood can restore him to his potential humanity. The issue is, humanity is... forbidden.

I have long awaited Forbidden. Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee teaming up- how much better can it get? After all the hype and claims of a series worthy of comparison to The Circle Series, I can say that it surpassed all my expectations. Amazing as it was, an absolute 5-star rating, it wasn't how I expected. It dove so deep into humanity, emotion, love and evil that it tapped my heart as I greedily flipped the pages. If you think The Circle and Demon: A Memoir was life-changing, I promise you, so is this. But as with the others, so different than the typical. The two brilliant authors wove a brilliant world in which the story pulls you in. And their writing styles coalesced together so well that they weren't distinguishable from the other in the slightest way. Excellent novel; don't pass it up. I am already eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series, Mortal, set to release in June 2012.

Check out the book trailer below:

Interview with Tosca Lee

1. What was it like writing with Ted Dekker, a New York Times best selling author?
        It rocked. 

2. Where did you and/or Mr. Dekker get the idea for Forbidden?
       We knew we were intrigued with the idea of what makes us truly human... and then we just counted back from there.

3. In your opinion, how does Forbidden stand out as a novel from other works?
       It strategically combines the true strengths of two authors--his pacing and action, my description and prose. The point was to write something we could not have done alone. Or else what's the point, right?

4. Mr. Dekker has hinted at possible books in the future tied in with The Books of Mortals. Are there any current plans, and if so, do you hope to continue to co-author those future books?
       Right now we have three books planned--and we have moved those up from one a year over the next three years... to all three in the next year. Too many people asked--how could we say no?

5. Forbidden falls into the dystopian/fantasy genre, whereas your previous novels, Havah and Demon: A Memoir, fall into the Biblical fiction genre. How was the writing experience different?
       There was less research involved, but it's all been world-building. The language/prose differs slightly from genre to genre as well.

6. Your next book, Iscariot, is set to release in January of 2012. What sets Iscariot apart from Havah and Demon: A Memoir?
       Iscariot deals with my most difficult topic to date: Judas Iscariot. It took me more than two years to research and write this novel. I have some news on Iscariot coming soon, so be sure to stay tuned to my FB page!

7. When did you first realize you wanted to be an author, and how did it become a reality?
       I was a published author in third grade but really realized I wanted to do novels in high school. I just wrote. I wrote short stories. I entered contests. I wrote my first novel in college. I just kept writing and trying.

8. Who are your favorite authors?
       Dude. Do you know how many of my friends are authors? Are you trying to get me killed?

9. Where do you find the most/best inspiration?

10. What advice would you give to teenagers and young adults with hopes of becoming an author?
       Read a lot. Write a lot. Experiment. Learn. Get input from people you trust. Learn what you do best. Be fearless.

Can't wait to get your hand on a copy of Forbidden? Hopefully, I can help with that. Courtesy of the publisher, Center Street, I have a copy to give away. Contestants are limited to The United States and Canada; no PO boxes can be given for the address. Other than that, follow the instructions in the PunchTab widget bellow. If it's not working, make sure you're logged in to Facebook.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Blink of an Eye by Ted Dekker

Miriam, a Saudi Arabian princess, flees to America to escape a forced marriage. Nothing could be more horrifying than such a living death.

Seth is a genius with an astounding IQ of 195. He receives a strange gift- to see not the future, but possible futures. The impacts any decision could have.

When their two paths are intertwined, the unlikely pair veer down the path of a wild goose chase in a desperate attempt to survive. America learns of a coup attempt in Saudi Arabia; one that could shift the balance of the entire Middle East. Possibilities ride so thin that the future of the characters and the entire Middle East could change in the blink of an eye.

I first read the original version of Blink of an Eye, titled Blink, several years ago. It was the second Dekker book I had read, and this was the point where he had me truly hooked. It was, and is, one of my favorite books of all time. The perfect balance of romance, suspense and humor all spun into life-changing novel. Peering deep inside the Middle East and arousing and answering thoughts from deep within, Blink of an Eye will pull you along for a wild ride.

A quick note on the two editions: Blink of an Eye was created as a more thematic edition in preparation for the movie, now at a standstill. The differences aren't substantial, only minor changes. Not even that noticeable unless you look for them. The one major change is that in the original book in a sort of search for faith, Seth prays to the Christian God and Muslim Allah separately in order to discover which, if either, are real. In this book, they only pray to one God, still in a search, and while the line as to which God it is less bold–you have to read it carefully.

As a precaution, this book can be mistaken as promoting Islam if you read it incorrectly. If something seems off, reread it. This book is Christian. Don't let that scare you off though, this is one unforgettable read!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Final Hour by Andrew Klavan

For Charlie West, life has been far from simple or easy. It gets complicated even further when he learns that that the terrorist group, the Homelanders, is nearing their huge attack on America. And the more he discovers about the planned strike, the more he realizes that he is the only one who can stop it. Time is of the essence; it all comes down to the final hour.

I admit that between my reading the third and fourth books, I did not go back to read the first and second. And unfortunately, it now looks as if it is too late. Any further inquiries on Charlie West's past are answered.

While this book certainly does not make my list of favorites, I did enjoy it much more than The Truth of the Matter, the third book. While many plot secrets are unveiled, I did not feel like it was spewing facts. There is plenty of action in the midst. However, the book was way too short. Even for a YA novel. The action doesn't even truly begin until the second half. I felt myself wanting to get into the story, wanting to like it. But there was simply way too little material for that to happen.