Welcome back to another day of spooking for books! Here are today's haunting stops with great giveaways:
Nikki@Nicsquared The Scent of Shdaows (Sign of The Zodiac #1) by Vicki Pettersson
Make sure to head over and trick or treat for a scary good read!
Today, I am hosting a stop on The Valkyrie Rising Tour. I have a fun guest post to share with you by Ingrid Paulson the debut author of Valkyrie Rising. Be sure to enter the giveaway and check out my review of this book. First here is a bit more about Ingrid:
Ingrid Paulson lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter and enjoys long-distance running, eavesdropping, and watching science documentaries. She has always loved books and writing short stories, but was surprised one day to discover the story she was working on wasn't so short any more. VALKYRIE RISING is Ingrid's first novel.
Ingrid's grandmother might actually be a Valkyrie; she's still waiting for her to come clean.
I assure you, we will be hearing more from Ingrid in the future. Now I am pleased to introduce you to Ingrid as I have her here today to share with us a fun little post. Here is Ingrid:
What you didn’t know about Valkyrie Rising: Five facts and a LIE
Now that I have an actual finished copy of my book perched on my desk (and a few dozen photos of it saved on my phone), I reflected back a little on the long road my little story traveled before arriving here—printed in a fancy font and dressed up in its gorgeous jacket. I fired up my computer and realized I have 32 different versions of my book saved—each labeled with certain scenes added or deleted and some major changes, like an entirely different ending. And that’s not counting paper edits. That sort of blew my mind. So, I made up a list of a few other things you’d never guess about VALKYRIE RISING (unless you asked me—and please do so, if any other questions pop into your mind).
So here goes. But just to keep it interesting, one of these “facts” is A BALD FACED LIE. Because I’m sneaky like that. See if you can find it:
3. My grandmother was once a nationally ranked kick boxer, and she’s kind of my idol (yeah, I’m a grandma’s girl), so clearly Ellie’s grandmother had to be tough too.
4. I changed the name of the town in VALKYRIE RISING from Maloy to Skavapoll because the real Maloy is actually quite a bit larger than the town Ellie visits for the summer. However, the name Skavapoll came about because it should be my last name. Apparently my great-grandfather changed it.
Did you guess number 3? If you actually know my grandmother, you probably would have believed it. No, she wasn’t actually “ranked.”
While VALKYRIE RISING is obviously 100% fiction, I tried to at least keep the amazing setting factual—I have a deep and abiding love of Norway that I wanted to share with the world. So, I hope you enjoy your visit to Norway with Ellie and Tuck!
And Heidi, thanks so much for hosting me and being part of the blog tour!
Wow! thirty two editions and all those revisions! Thank you Ingrid for sharing today!
Please be sure to find out more about Ingrid and her book visit her website, twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. As part of the tour I get to offer you a chance to win signed copy of Valkyrie Rising. Just fill out the Rafflecopter to enter. Good Luck! A big thanks to Ingrid and Shane@Itching for Books.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there. What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them. Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 9th 2012 Harper Teen
Ellie at sixteen has spent the majority of her young life in her brother's golden shadow. Graham is successful in almost everything. He is the perfect older brother, despite the fact that he is fiercely protective of Ellie. If any boy even looks in her direction he is there to fend them off. Ellie and Graham are headed to Norway for the summer to spend some time with their Grandma Hilda. Much to Ellie's dismay, at least she pretends to be dismayed, Tucker, Graham's best friend, will be accompanying them as well. Once Ellie arrives in Norway she find things are not quite right. Handsome and popular boys over the age of eighteen are mysteriously disappearing. Worse, people are casting suspicious glances at Ellie and her grandmother as if they are somehow responsible for the kidnappings. When Ellie comes face to face with the real perpetrators she realizes that perhaps her vision of the world is limited and perhaps they are supernatural entires. Ellie fears for Graham's safety and she is determined to make sure that he doesn't fall victim. Can Ellie somehow find a way to stop the Valkyries from stealing her brother?
What I Liked:
- I am always excited when I run across a book with an original paranormal element and storyline so I was thrilled to find in Rise of the Valkyries a modern vision of the Norse mythological Valkyries. The Valkyries are fierce maidens who brought the best of the best soldiers after they died to serve in Odin's army. The Valkyries are back in modern times and this time they are stealing the brightest of the living. These girls are gorgeous and deadly and definitely a bit scary. Needless to say, this book gave me something different and unique and I loved the use of Nordic mythology.
- I adored the strong sibling relationship in this one. Graham is extremely protective of his younger sister so much that it is to the point where is overly protective. I am a big fan of books that feature great brother-sister relationships and this one has a duo with an amazing bond. I loved that both Ellie and Graham were willing to sacrifice and go to great lengths to protect each other.
- I enjoyed watching Ellie grow. At the beginning, she comes across as a girl who is always hiding in her brother's long shadow. Graham is popular, handsome, athletic and draws attention wherever he goes, while Ellie is quiet, a bit shy and never in the limelight. She doesn't even date since Graham disapproves of every eligible boy. As the story progresses, Ellie realizes she has some extraordinary powers and she quickly learns to wield them in order to protect the ones she loves. By the end of the book, Ellie transforms into a strong, capable, fierce girl who is willing to take on insurmountable odds to save her brother. She definitely comes a long way. She even takes a stand against Graham and refuses to let him make all her decisions for her and she finally finds her voice.
- Tucker, the swoon worthy, witty, boy next door who secretly has a crush on Ellie. He is one of those boys with charm and a smile that will melt your heart. I loved that he and Ellie had been secretly crushing on each other for years but were afraid to acknowledge their feelings. This is one of those romances that is hesitant and awkward as two longtime friends finally realize their feelings for each other. I really enjoyed the romance in this one.
- I loved that this book refrained from cliffhangers and love triangle and it had an exciting mystery, great characters and blended mythological characters into a modern day setting. Not to mention it had a couple of unexpected twists.
And The Not So Much:
- One of my biggest complaints was that there was some predictability in this one. If the Valkyrie are taking the best and the brightest boys over the age of eighteen who do you think would be a likely target? I was frustrated that Ellie and even her grandmother knowing all this didn't do more to protect the boys.
- I was disappointed a bit in Ellie at times. She immediately finds herself in a strange situation and she knows that her grandmother is aware of what is going on. Yet, she doesn't confront her grandmother and express her concern for the safety of her brother. Furthermore, when the her grandmother tries to sit her down and talk to her, she avoids the issues. That was a sticking point for me. I felt that she should have been a bit more savvy and tried harder to talk to her grandma and to explain to Graham what was going on. I felt, it got to the point where it got to be a bit unbelievable.
- I felt like I never had a true picture of Hilda. In fact, I didn't connect with her and didn't really like her. I did not like the way that she refused to step up and confront the disappearances especially when she knew what was going on. Furthermore, I never had a true sense of who she was. Why she made some of her decisions and so forth. I would have liked to know a bit more about her history and I would like to have seen more development in regards to her character.
- Finally, I was left wondering what happened to Ellie's and Graham's father. He died but what was he like? How did he die and did he inherit anything special from his mother? Ellie and Graham's parents are nonexistent in this one.
Rise of the Valkyrie is a fun book with a fresh take on Nordic mythology. I loved the mystery, action and sweet romance in this one. It has an unexpected story line along with good world building and memorable characters. If you are in need of something different give this one a read.
"Something tells me you won’t want to show your face in public wrapped in an old lady’s tracksuit.”
"I shifted until I could covertly watch her reaction as I backed up and dumped a whole truckload of crazy at her feet."
"The words were warm against my cheek, as was the scent of reckless summer radiating from his skin."
"I knew I’d been forgiven, no matter how much my words had hurt him, because there was a connection between the two of us, an affection born of a common childhood, the roots of our lives inextricably tangled. No matter how much either of us grew or changed, he’d always be my painfully perfect big brother."
"I buried my longings so deep, it would take an excavation team to drag them out of me, because this was about something deeper than his flirty words and playful smiles. This was about a lifetime of friendship and rivalry that had somehow turned into so much more. At least for me."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not compensated for this review.