Friday, November 23, 2012

Welcome Natasha Brown and her series today!

It is a pleasure to welcome author Natasha Brown and her books to my site today!

A Little about Natasha Brown:
Natasha was born in Nevada City, California. An only child, she used her imagination while exploring the forest surrounding her home. Her natural interest in fantasy ignited when her parents read 'The Hobbit' to her as a youth, and from then on anything seemed possible. Once awarded with a Hershey's bar 'the size of a Buick' in her High School English class for creative writing, her passion and interest in writing has never dimmed.
She now lives in Littleton, Colorado with her husband and two children.
I had spoken to Natasha about what it takes to write a sequel and she was sweet enough to do a guest post for us.

Guest Post by Natasha Brown:

The sequel of a story...
I have mixed feelings about writing a series. Don’t get me wrong, I truly love the magic of a story that twists, turns and grows with the characters. It is wonderful.
In my series, The Shapeshifter Chronicles, I always knew the story would span at least four books. The first novel I focused on character and relationship building. It’s more gentle and slow and I truly loved writing it. It helped me work through the stress of my daughter’s heart surgery that happened only a couple months prior. It wasn’t really written for other people, but for myself. I persevered and finished it 92k words later. Was it worthy of readers? Would people enjoy it? It seems the answer is yes.
That was only the first hurdle. As I neared completion of my second book in the series I worried that my readers wouldn’t be happy about the direction I was taking it. It’s faster paced and action packed, so in that regard it is different from the first novel. But the most important thing was – I liked it. I am excited about my own story. I’m writing what I enjoy. Do I still worry people won’t like it? Yes. First and foremost I need to be happy with it, but I do what I do to entertain people as well. The characters are like my own children. I care about them and I understand that my readers grow to care about them too. Because they bloom in the hearts of the readers there are certain expectations, which is similar to any story but when your readers follow characters from book to book, I think it’s more of a challenge to keep everyone happy. I have learned it is impossible to please everyone. But, that’s a good thing, right? If you’ve ever read the classic, A Wrinkle in Time, you’ve experienced a world where everyone’s the same and no one has freedom of will. I respect the fact some love romance, some love action or suspense. We are all different.
I love what I do. Creating worlds for people to live vicariously through is fun. Will I please everyone? No, but that’s okay. If I’ve made you feel something, be it happiness, frustration or excitement, then I’ve done my job. And I thank you for spending time with me and my imaginary worlds.

I have had the pleasure of reading the first two books in her Shapeshifter Chronicles and not only have I listed the books, but I have given you my review for those two books too!

Fledgling - Volume 1

Set apart from other eighteen year olds, Ana Hughes knows she is different. A life threatening heart condition smothers her future and she yearns to feel normal. Her hopes are pinned on a
fresh start in a remote town far from her native Colorado. Among the locker filled hallways in Clark Bend High, Ana keeps to the shadows, not wanting to draw attention to her violet tinged lips and wilted silhouette. And she almost succeeds, until she meets Chance Morgan.
Struggling to keep up appearances, she soon suspects Chance is hiding something as well. His animal-like senses, miraculous healing ability and peculiar reaction to her Thunderbird necklace compels Ana to question if there's more to the stories about his Navajo ancestry. Without any other explanation, she fears he is playing tricks on her. But the truth may prove too much for Ana's delicate heart...

My Review: 4 Stars

A lover of paranormal I am and while not normally a fan of Young Adult, I took a chance and read this book. I am happy to say, I am glad I took the chance.
A very solid written book with descriptions that allow you to perfectly see the scene in the writer's mind and feel the emotions of the characters as they move through their story. The characters were believable along with even the paranormal aspects. The plot was deep enough to very much satisfy my mind and kept me guessing as to exactly how it would end.
While this book runs the lines of young adult, it is more of a cross over as the characters are becoming adults and the story will continue into their future. I also enjoyed the Native American ties to this book, as I have been a lover of that history for many years.
I look forward to seeing what Ms. Brown brings to us in the next installment of the Chronicles.
To purchase Fledging: Amazon  Barnes & Noble

Prodigy - Volume 2 - Just Released November 2012

In Clark Bend, Idaho, Chance Morgan’s dreams are haunted by the last moments shared with his grandfather. Memories of the fateful day when he died plague his thoughts, and without his grandfather’s council, his shapeshifting powers mysteriously fail him. Desperate to seek out a new mentor and learn more about the mystical world he was sheltered from, Chance must travel far from home to hunt for answers.
Eighteen-year-old, Ana Hughes has only known Chance for a few months, but he quickly found his way into her heart. Since being rescued from Chance’s power-hungry cousin, and coming back from death, Ana is unwilling to leave his side, and joins him on his quest to the Yucatan in search of a new mentor.
When Chance’s memories fall into place and reveal a threat from their past, Chance and Ana must fight to survive – or die trying.

My Review: 5 Stars

This book is a follow up book to Fledgling: The Shapeshifter Chronicles which I read and reviewed in February 2012.
Like the first book, this was a very solid story. The flow of the writing was smooth and concise, the plot line engaging and descriptive. The characters that I had really enjoyed in the first book were brought to life even more within this sequel.
The speed of the storyline was quicker than the first one and that was good for me. I read very quickly and I like my books to move just as fast. While this book is once again directed to young adult audiences, I felt it had enough bite to it to entertain the older crowd too.
The story deals with some real life issues about adjusting in real life and the paranormal world, and while we all want happy thoughts in books, seeing real life problems just makes it all the more believable in my eyes. I am always thrilled when a book doesn't end the way I thought it would and this one for sure did.
I very much enjoyed the next step into the saga and found this storyline even more pronounced then the first. Ms. Brown did a great job of taking you on an adventure without revealing all the final details until the time was right.
Well done, and I will continue to follow the Chronicles.
To Purchase Prodigy: Amazon   Barnes and Noble