Sunday, July 28, 2013

Blog Tour - "Keeper of the Reins" by Emma Right

Young Adult Fantasy
Date Published: 5/19/2013

Books written in blood. Most are lost, their Keepers with them. A curse that befell a people. A Kingdom with no King. Life couldn’t get more harrowing for the Elfies, a blend of Elves and Fairies. Or for sixteen-year-old Jules Blaze. Or could it? 

For Jules, the heir of a Keeper, no less, suspects his family hides a forgotten secret. It was bad enough that his people, the Elfies of Reign, triggered a curse which reduced the entire inhabitants to a mere inch centuries ago. All because of one Keeper who failed his purpose. Even the King’s Ancient Books, did not help ward off that anathema. 

Now, Gehzurolle, the evil lord, and his armies of Scorpents, seem bent on destroying Jules and his family. Why? Gehzurolle’s agents hunt for Jules as he journeys into enemy land to find the truth. Truth that could save him and his family, and possibly even reverse the age-long curse. Provided Jules doesn't get himself killed first.

Author Bio:
Emma Right is a happy wife and homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a Long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. When she doesn't have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one.
Right worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before she settled down to have children. 
Visit Emma Right at her home site and blog for tips and ideas about books, homeschooling, bible devotions, and author helps of various sorts: and follow her on facebook

Links to Buy

My Review:

and now a little one on one with Emma!

1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else? 

I always enjoyed telling stories, even from as young as eight. But being an author of fiction? No. But now when i think of it I guess storytelling necessitates writing. I guess never put the two and two together.
2. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?

I began Keeper of Reign in 2008, and I had to start and stop, as we moved continents twice during that period, and when I was finished, and did some research on my target readers, I had to cut it from a 230.000 word fiction to just 75,000 words, as I realize my readers would not be able to swallow too much detail. TMI as they say it in their vernacular…Too much information, as we who are a little bit older would say.
3. How do you come up with themes for your stories?

I don't really. As the story unfolds, the theme makes itself known. Kind of strange, really.

4. Do you have a schedule of when you write? 

Any moment I can grab.

5. How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?

I don't feel like I balance this well at all! LOL!
6. What elements do you think make a great story line?
Behind every great story is a message. No matter how subtle. Even commercial authors like Jeffrey Archer has a message , no matter how subtle. Look at Hunger Games closely. Behind the story is a message Suzanne Collins has about a government system that is all powerful. The best stories are not like candy where you chew and gulp and it's over. No nutrients whatsoever.(And it's okay, if that's what the author meant--I like candy too, sometimes!) But for me, the best stories are when it sets you thinking. Like a dessert rich in different tastes, and you let the flavor swirl in your mouth. Even if you are confused by the story, that's good. The author has deposited something subtle in you. Have you read In Cold Blood? It's more than just a murder recount of a true story. It makes one evaluate society and its values. At least that's what it did for me.

7. What was the hardest thing about writing a book?

The hardest part of writing Keeper of Reign was juggling the mommy part of living. As a homeschool mother of five, with kids with me the entire day, (and night) and a husband who travels a lot, the greatest challenge was trying to get at least a ten minute block of time without being interrupted by some comment, or 'Help! Mommy! The cat's scaring the dog!" or "Where is…" or a loud crash coming from somewhere, or a fight between the cat's eating the bunny's grass"…the list continues.

8. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite? 

This is my first book. but i intend to write more--time permitting.
9. Do you have a favorite character?

Not really.

10. Where do you write?

Anywhere: in my car, at the health club, in bed, at the ballet studio while waiting for my girls….

11. When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took? 

I looked at traditional publishing at first, but realized to get there I'd have to learn how to craft a letter to an agent. Okay, I, personally would rather learn, and re-learn, how to write a story (no offense to any agents out there), then learn to write a letter. Honestly. Also, with what's happening with traditional publishing and what's expected of a no-name author, basically, even if i was signed on, I'd have to work just as hard to build a platform, etc. So i thought, why waste my time, i'm going to go straight to my readers.

12. Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?

They're an unreliable bunch…I can do no wrong. Which doesn't help at all if I want to improve my craft. So now i hire beta readers-- people who don't know me. And to improve, I always read negative reviews, and yes,ouch, ouch, but some comments may help me improve and i always want to improve. Of course, sometimes comments are so contradicting, like, "the book is too fast-paced," and then another writes , "the pace is too slow"…what? Then I'd have to decide who my particular book is for. In the case of Keeper of Reign, i had an 11-15 year old reader, used to the fast pace of computer games and Indiana Jones style movies. I wanted to give my readers adventure and fantasy, and still have a theme--that no matter how small or insignificant you think you are, and no matter how big your problems, or world look, you can still be an overcomer. There's always a way out.

13. What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?

Reading! watching movies, singing, and watching kids.

14. What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing? 

Never give up, keep dreaming, and learn, learn, learn. There are so many resources out there. I used a lot of Writer's Digest books and webinars. it's like getting a Master's at home and in your own time. And if you think your writing is not-so-hot now, no worries, they say it takes a million words before you become great.So the more you write the better you'll become. Have you read Suzanne Collins' earlier series? Or Cornelia Funke's before she wrote Ink Heart? I rest my case…I know I've yet to write my best book.

16. What is your favorite book? Favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?

 JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis are my most favorite. They wrote such rich fantasies, as there are so many layers to the meanings of the imageries they use.
17. Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such? 

I belong to a marketing group "John 316" and there are beta readers there, as well as editors. I also attended a Christian Writer's Guild boot camp with Jerry B Jenkins, of the Left Behind fame, and that was helpful, and I met some awesome established authors there who do editing work as well.
18. Are you working on anything now?

Keeper of Reign 2 is in the works and should be ready early 2014. I am also working (in the editing stage) another series , targeted more at girls (also YA), and it has more character development. It's titled, Dead Dreams. It's about eighteen-year old Brie O'Mara who has big dreams, which is a good thing, until her dreams lead her down the road of nightmares she couldn't wake up from, at least, not on her own. dead dreams should be ready December 2014.

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And now for my review:

Jules Blaze, an Elfie - an elf-fairy - and the victim of a curse which has reduced him in size, this curse affects all the people of Reign and its surrounding areas. While his father is away fighting, Jules finds his mother missing and the house that they live in in ruins.  Jules than learns that is mother is a Keeper and her disappearance is connected to that.   This than brings into the picture the evil lord Gehzurolle who wants the books of the five keepers in order to destroy the Eflies.

Jules and his siblings is thrown into an adventure to find his mother and to protects the history of his people.  

I truly enjoyed reading this story, the characters all sounded adorable (I mean how can elf-fairies not be right?) yet they are all are strong willed in their own ways.  The story moved along at a good pace making it easy to follow.  There was just the right amount action and excitement to pull you in.  All in all the book was a great read!

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