Today, I am pleased to welcome indie author Michelle Warren. She is the author of Wander Dust and Protecting Truth. If you are in the market for an entertaining read that involves time travel, you should check out Wander Dust. Especially, since you can download the ebook right now for free!
Here is Michelle's Bio:
Michelle Warren is the author of Wander Dust and Protecting Truth, the first two books in the Seraphina Parrish Trilogy. She didn’t travel the road to writer immediately. First, she spent over a decade as professional illustrator and designer. Her artistic creativity combined with her love of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy led her to write her first YA novel. Michelle loves reading and traveling to places that inspire her to create. She resides in Maryland, in a historic Baltimore row-home with her wonderful husband.
Michelle is here with an inspirational post on how she became a writer. Here is Michelle:
"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."
Sometimes unplanned events are the most cherished, and no one knows this better than me. Writing a novel was never in my life plan. If you had told the younger me that I was going to write a book (or two, or more), I would have immediately laughed at you. As a child, I rarely ever read without a fight. I have dyslexia and struggled with reading through my child and teen years. It wasn’t until after college that I discovered a love for reading. (Thanks, Grandma!)
Fast forward thirteen years and a thousand novels later, I watched a very inspirational interview with an author. She mentioned that to escape her everyday world, she made up stories in her head. As a designer and illustrator, this idea fascinated me. I’m sure that this is no breakthrough to a writer. To me, it seemed like a fun idea, a new way to release my creativity. So I started playing with story ideas in my mind and found myself lost in the world of WANDER DUST. Occasionally, I sketched the magical-induced steampunk scenes in a notebook. I did this for almost a year, but not long after, the recession hit my home. With the new stress, I found myself needing even more of an escape, so I started doing something I never imagined that I would: I started writing. When I wrote, I acted out the characters, sketched surroundings, and used photos of my previous travels as inspiration. (Yes, my husband thought I had lost my mind.)
Even then, I didn't consider publishing until my sister, Tabitha, read WANDER DUST and loved it. She spent almost a year convincing me to publish. And I'm so glad that I took her advice and shared my story. Though I never planned this path, this is one experience that has truly changed my life and has made it richer in so many incredible ways: from the authors, bloggers, and fans that I meet, to the imaginary worlds that I find myself drifting to each day. As it turns out, my box of chocolates is full of novels. Who knew?
Here are two of the sketches from the notebook:
Thank you Michelle for sharing your story, and all of sudden making me crave chocolate! Michelle comes bearing gifts for everyone! Right now you can download Wander Dust for free. Click on the banner for details. She is also kindly offering to one lucky U.S. entrant a signed copy of Wander Dust and some swag. To enter fill out the Rafflecopter. See Contest Polices for details.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Wander Dust ( Serraphina Parrish#1) by Michelle Warren
The Lady in Black… burns Sera’s memories.
Unexplainable Premonitions… catapult her to other cities.
The Grungy Gang… wants to kill her.
And a beautiful, mysterious boy… stalks her.
But when Sera moves to Chicago, and her aunt reveals their family connection to a centuries old, secret society, she is immediately thrust into an unbelievable fantasy world, leading her on a quest to unravel the mysteries that plague her. In the end, their meanings crash into an epic struggle of loyalty and betrayal, and she’ll be forced to choose between the boy who has stolen her heart and the thing she desires most.
Wander Dust is the breathtaking fantasy that will catapult you through a story of time, adventure, and love.
Paperback, 374 pages
Published November 30th 2011 by kristine michelle preast
Three and half stars: An inventive book that features time travel!
Seraphina is stuck in the restaurant with her father and his ridiculous girlfriend. It is her sixteenth birthday, not that anyone seems to notice or care. Her father is too busy flirting to pay attention to her. Seraphina blows out the candles, and then something strange happens. She sees a terrifying women in black leather staring at her threateningly. One of the candles reignites when Sera licks off the frosting. What is happening to her? Things get worse that night when she has a horrifying nightmare that her room is on fire and that the woman in black is there to get her. The next day, Sera receives a picture of a handsome boy in the mail. There is not note or any information on who the boy is and why the photo was sent to her. No matter, staring at his picture makes Sera feel safe. Things settle back to normal and she plods through another week at school. That is until another strange event happens and Sera begins to wonder if she is losing her mind. Soon Sera is shipped off to Chicago to live with her aunt, and she learns that she has special abilities that turns her world upside down. Can Sera learn to harness her new found talents?
What I Liked:
- I am always excited to find an indie gem, and Wander Dust is a wonderful, self published book that is polished, imaginative, unique and worth the read. If you are on the hunt for something fresh and original in the indie market pick this one up. At the time of this review, the ebooks are on Amazon for FREE!
- I enjoyed the complex story line and that it kept me in the dark until at least the mid way point. It is evident that something strange is happening to Sera, but I wasn't expecting such a detailed and inventive plot. This book has danger, mystery, romance and time travel as well as betrayal and some big twists!
- I liked how well the whole time travel concept is laid out in this one. It isn't too complex, and it is different than anything I have encountered before. There are gifted individuals called Wanderers who have the ability to move through time, but in order to do so they must possess an object, called a relic, that directs them to a particular point in history. In order to wander, they must utilize the help of two additional people, their Seer, the one who finds the relics, and the Protector, the individual who helps save them from danger. The time travel is straightforward and doesn't get too weighty.
- I enjoyed that this book features some detailed history and mythology in order to explain time traveling throughout history.
- The romance in this one was a surprise, it kind of creeps up on you and sweeps you off your feet at the end with a big revelation and a sweet kiss. I was a bit frustrated at first with it, but be patient it is worth the wait.
- Finally, I loved that this did not incorporate a dreaded love triangle nor did it have a terrible cliffhanger. It left plenty of lingering questions, but it ended at a good point and I was satisfied with the conclusion.
And The Not So Much:
- It took awhile for me to settle into this one. The beginning is confusing and a bit frustrating as you are thrown into all these strange occurrences and you have not a clue what is going on. At the mid way mark, the answers start coming and once that happens I was engaged in the story.
- There were a few lingering details that were not resolved that bothered me. Who sent the photo to Sera, and why? How did the mysterious stranger get a hold of Sera's bracelet? Why is there hardly any detail on Sera's mother? What happened to her mother?
- I mentioned earlier that at first I was not happy with the way the romance developed in this one, it starts out as what appears to be a one sided crush/attraction and then all of sudden there is a potential kiss out of nowhere and I thought, hold up is this insta love? Then some details are revealed and it makes sense as it moves into the sweet satisfying conclusion. I do wish, though that there was more insight on the other person's feelings.
- I noticed that other reviewers were comparing this book to Harry Potter, but I really don't see the connection. Yes, there is a hidden world, but it involves time travel and not magical witches and wizards. The only similarities are that Sera suddenly finds herself thrust into a secret society when she enrolls into the private boarding school. If you are picking this up expecting something similar to Harry Potter you likely will be disappointed. This book is different and original.
- I did not like Roy, the father. He comes across as callous and uncaring toward his only daughter and he refuses to speak about Sera's mother. Why did he not want to talk about her? Furthermore, I wished that there was steps taken toward a better relationship between the two.
Wander Dust is a creative and imaginative book with lots of intriguing ideas and concepts. If you enjoy books that feature time travel, but don't like them to be too complex, this should be a good read for you. I was pleased to find that this self published book was edited and polished and an all around good read. If you are looking for something fun and unique at a great price, grab this one!
"I find myself in the most glorious dream. It's night, not a cloud in the sky. A zillion stars trail across the far reaches of the heavens. They kiss the edges of each horizon."
"When my body meets his, I feel his heart beating wildly and out of control with mine. His hand reaches for my face and lightly touches my beauty marks with his thumb."
I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Be sure to check out book two: Protecting Truth (Serraphina Parrish #2) available now.