Mundie Moms

Friday, June 6, 2014

Amarok by Angela J. Townsend, Book Review

By: Angela J. Townsend
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Released on: 11/20/12
Source: book from publisher to review
Rating: 2.5-3 Stars - It's an okay/good read
Purchase it from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Emma's life has been hell since she moved from sunny California to a remote Alaskan town. Abandoned by her father and living with the guilt of causing her mother's death, she makes a desperate dash for freedom from her abusive stepfather. But when her car skids off the icy road, her planned escape leads to further captivity in a world beyond her imagining. Dragged across the tundra by an evil mountain man and his enormous black wolf, she learns that love can be found in the most unexpected places. Amarok, as she's nicknamed the wolf, is a young man from the gold-rush era enslaved by an ancient shaman. Emma's gentle touch and kind heart win his love and devotion. When a vicious madman-trapped in bear form by the same Shaman-attacks the travelers and injures Amarok, Emma must find the strength to face her fears and free the wolf she's come to love. But that means she must face down the evil shaman, a Siberian mammoth hunter from the ice age, and he has no intention of giving up his power to her.

An unique YA story that combines native story telling / lore, and shifters. Amarok takes readers on an journey that's edgy, dangerous, and tests the limits of friendship and love. The rugged Alaskan wilderness is the perfect setting for Emma and Tok (the Alaskan wolf shifter)'s story. Emma and Tok have not had an easy life. Emma's is still grieving the loss of her mother, and is escaping an not so stellar father. Her path unexpectedly crosses Tok's on a fateful night in the remote wilderness of Alaska. Tok is more than meets the eye. A boy trapped in the form of a wolf, he's learned his lesson with crossing paths with a Shaman, especially one who toys with ancient evil. Together these two have to figure out how to over come a powerful ancient evil, free those who have been trapped for centuries, and save each other.

This was a fast paced read that has has an engaging native story telling, and a rich setting. I really like the premise of this book. I'm a sucker for books rich in Native storytelling/lore, and I was hooked on the dangerous journey Emma finds herself trapped on. Mix in a wolf and other animal shifters, and set the story in Alaska, and I'm all in. While I liked parts of the story, there were a few things missing for me. 

I knew the Shaman who trapped Tok, and the evil mountain who now controls Tok, and has Emma is dangerous, but I felt I was told more about how dangerous these two were,  rather than being showed. Yes there is some mild violence/abuse in this story, bit for some reason I didn't feel that fear that the author was setting up. The journey Emma goes on, and all that she endures is dangerous. She is in fear of her life, and for good reason. I would loved the book much more if I felt more of the feelings the author so vividly described, vs being told about them.

 Angela did a great job at explaining the emotions in the story, but for some reason I emotionally didn't connect to the story. I also felt the story lacked some minor detail that I felt played a huge factor in the story, especially when it came to the Shaman's history. I think getting more of his back story would have been extremely beneficial in this story, especially since he does play such a huge role in Emma and Tok's journey. Overall, this story had moments I liked, but in the end I needed more from Amarok to enjoy it as much as I had hoped to. I'd definitely check out the reviews it's getting, as I've noticed quite a few readers who've read this, have really enjoyed it. 

In Honor of The 70th Anniversary of D-Day

I realize this post is late on going up, but we wanted to take a moment to pay our respects and honor the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Per the words of President Obama, 

"These men waged war so that we might know peace. They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we'd no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them." (source).

There are a lot of really good articles posted today about D-Day. The quote above was found from the Huffington Post. If you have a chance, I'd recommend googling the articles and reading them. 

Thank you to those who risked their everything, and for those who continue to do so today. 

The Mortal Instruments Takes the #1 Spot on the NYT Best Seller's List for Children's Series

I love this news! If you look up the most recent New York Times Best Sellers List, which the highlighted link will take you to, you'll see Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments sitting in the #1 spot for the best selling Children's series! Cassie's TMI series has been on the list for 142 weeks! How awesome is that! Also on the Children's Series best sellers list, taking the 2nd-5th spots are Divergent, The Maze Runner, The Selections and Magic Tree House, all of which are fantastic series! Go here to read more from the list. Congrats to Cassie and all those listed!

@CassieClare's Interview with About City of Heavenly Fire

Last week shared the interview they had with Cassandra Clare about City of Heavenly Fire. You can read a teaser from the interview below. Be sure to reading the entire interview here.

At last! City of Heavenly Fire, the conclusion to the New York Times best-selling The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, has arrived. And the final installment brings the seductive world of shadow hunting to a climactic finale rife with demons, werewolves, blood, romance, and an ultimate battle of good vs evil. We had to know, how does Cassandra feel now that her sixth and last Mortal Instruments book is finished…

Here's what Cassie had to say about the interview  & the special editions of CoHF:
Sorry my tumblr is a bit bare at the moment: every question in my ask box is about CoHF and is spoilery! If I haven’t answered yours (and I am only answering CoHF questions right now) I’m waiting at least a week to start answering anything major-spoilery and then I’ll put them under read more tags. As for twitter, I am answering some spoilery questions, but without putting spoilers in the answers (and tagging “spoilers” in case.) Don’t follow back to the original questions if you don’t want to know!
A lot of people have been asking where they can get the “Wedding” comic in the end of CoHF — that was only printed in UK and Australia editions. I will put it up online after the six month exclusivity period ends. The American edition with a (different) comic is only sold at Target and the same holds true for my putting that up as well.
Thank you all for the kind messages, it’s been overwhelming!

I can't wait to see these comics!

Mortal Enchantment by Stacey O'Neal, Blog Tour: Author Interview & Giveaway

Hi & welcome to today's Mortal Enchantment blog tour stop! I'm thrilled to have author Stacey O'Neale back on Mundie Moms to discuss her second book's release! Don't miss your chance to enter to win an awesome prize pack from Stacey. First, here's a little bit about Stacey's newest release, Mortal Enchantment. 

“Mortal Enchantment spins a unique twist on elemental mythology. This series is not to be missed.”  - Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author 

In Kalin Matthew's world, elementals control the forces of nature. They are divided into four courts: air, woodland, fire, and water. At sixteen she will leave the life she's built with her mortal mother. Kalin will move to Avalon to rule with her father—the elemental king of the air court. Along the way, she's attacked by a fire court assassin and saved by Rowan, a swoon-worthy elemental with a questionable past. 

Worst of all, she learns her father is missing. 

To rescue him, Kalin will have to work with a judgmental council and a system of courts too busy accusing each other of deceit to actually be able to help her. But, they aren’t her biggest challenge. With the Midwinter’s Ball only five days away, Kalin must take over her father’s duties, which includes shifting control of the elements—power Kalin has yet to realize. 

As Rowan attempts to train her, a war looms between the four courts. If Kalin fails, her father will die and the courts will fall, but the betrayal she’s about to uncover may cost her even more...
Available Exclusively at Amazon eBook for $2.99 and Paperback for $8.99

Congratulations on book #2!! I'm so excited to have witnessed part of our writing process. What has it been like for you to see your books out in the wild?
It's been very exciting. The response from readers and bloggers has been so positive. I've gotten tons of nice emails, tweets, and facebook messages. I cherish every single one of them. Really, I'm just enjoying every moment. 

Can you tell our followers a little bit about what the MORTAL ENCHANTMENT series?
MORTAL ENCHANTMENT is a YA paranormal romance series featuring elementals. They live primarily in Avalon, but also interact in the mortal world. My series focuses around Kalin and Rowan. Kalin is the half elemental, half mortal daughter of the air court king. Rowan is the prince who walked away from the fire court crown. THE SHADOW PRINCE was written in his POV, while MORTAL ENCHANTMENT was written from Kalin's.

Which of your characters did you have the most fun exploring/getting to know and why?
Rowan has been a lot of fun because he's such a complicated character. He's changed so much since the beginning of THE SHADOW PRINCE. His journey hasn't been an easy one. I look forward to seeing where he goes from here.

What character trait do you admire most in Kalin?
I like her toughness. She's really thrown into a challenging situation in MORTAL ENCHANTMENT. I like that she doesn't wait to be rescued. Instead, she tries to resolve the issues in front of her. I also like her snarky attitude.  

Which character would your former teenage self have been friends with?
I really love Marcus. He's so loyal and protective of his friends. There's a sweetness about him I think you'll see explored further in FRAGILE REIGN (MORTAL ENCHANTMENT, #2). I really adore his friendship with Rowan.

We first met Rowan in THE SHADOW PRINCE. Has he changed in any way from the prequel to now? If so, how?
Yes, he has definitely evolved. He lost so much in THE SHADOW PRINCE. He's matured because of it, but also gotten a bit darker in MORTAL ENCHANTMENT. On the outside, he's developed his skills with weapons. When you add that in with his fire magic, I would say he's gotten pretty dangerous.

If you could choose one of your favorite fictional characters to include in your series, who would you choose and why?
I think Ash from Julie Kagawa's IRON FEY series would fit in nicely. Ash and Rowan come from difficult family situations, are both warriors, and tend to have a weakness for half mortal/half magical girls. ;-)


Before you read MORTAL ENCHANTMENT, make sure you check out the FREE prequel novella, THE SHADOW PRINCE!

Every sacrifice has consequences.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission:

Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king.

Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he's capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?
Available for FREE on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Also available in PRINT from Amazon

About The Author

Stacey O'Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she's not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.
Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.
Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads. You can also visit her blog at

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