Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Cupcakes & Kisses by Heidi Garrett and Billie Limpin

It’s time for another cover reveal! So today I’ll reveal a cover of book one from The Magic Cupcake series, Cupcakes & Kisses by Heidi Garrett and Billie Limpin. What it is about, you say?

Nineteen-year-old Glynna Balcora’s super power is baking. A young witch, she’s lived her entire life tucked away in the quaint city of Spokane, WA with her domineering aunt and sweetheart of a grandmother. It’s not an ideal situation. Although Glynna loves her grandmother dearly, and treasures the special times they spend in their magical greenhouse, Glynna’s aunt keeps her niece on a tight leash using threats of vague enemies.

Since Glynna graduated from high school a few a months ago, her aunt’s be-home-before-dark curfew seems more ridiculous every day. It isn’t doing much for the young witch’s social life, either. With encouragement from her best friend, Glynna sneaks out one night to go to a bonfire party at the lake. There she has an unexpected encounter with Spokane’s most eligible bachelor, Ashton Bass. Glynna’s been crushing on Ashton since she was five years old. But when they share their first kiss, thunderstorms and lightning follow… and Glynna’s aunt realizes it’s time to tell the young witch the truth about who she really is.

Cupcakes & Kisses is the first book in a playful New Adult Romance trilogy…

And here’s the excerpt, just so you’re curious about it 😉

“Hey, watch it.” A dark figure looms in front of me. With the bonfire behind him, his face is all shadows, but the voice sounds vaguely familiar.

“Oh, sorry,” I yelp. “I didn’t mean—”

“To give me a shower?” The guy offers an amused smile.
My throat catches. Ashton Bass is standing in front of me. I’m too embarrassed to meet his gaze, so my eyes travel south. He’s wearing a dark fitted t-shirt with three white buttons at the top. God. I can’t believe I’m counting the buttons on his shirt. Or that I gave him a beer shower.
I glance around for a stack of napkins, a roll of paper towels, anything to dry him off. I find nothing. Desperate, I try to wipe off the spray with my bare hands… Huh? I press with one finger. No give. None. When did Ashton get wash-board abs? I slide my finger down. One… two… three… eight?! Eight?! Not even Leif has an eight-pack, and he’s a brick wall. I freeze. I can’t believe it. I’m actually counting his abs. My gaze travels back up only to be trapped by Aston’s startling azure eyes—and his famous panty-dropping boyish grin.

“Oops!! So-sorrry,” I stammer, and take a step backwards. “Not sure what that was all about.” His eyes will not let go of mine as the warm feelings heating my insides build. In fact, they’ll betray me, shortly, if I don’t watch out.

“Oh, I don’t mind at all. Besides, you seemed to be enjoying yourself.” His white teeth shine in the moonlight as another blush-fest attacks by face. Thank god, it’s the middle of the night and not the middle of the day.

“You have to forgive my friend, Ashton. She doesn’t get out much. And, well, her encounters with the male chest have been severely limited.”

Kristeen’s intervention is no help at all, and I don’t miss the lingering look she gives Ashton’s well-toned chest. A bitter pinch grips my heart as I imagine strangling my BFF.

Oh. God. Of. Cupcakes! My emotions are totally out-of-control. “Kristeen!” I half-whisper, half-scream.

“No?” Ashton’s one-word question leaves his lopsided grin firmly in place.
This is becoming all shades of awkward. I squeeze my eyes shut. I’d give anything for a cupcake that could make me disappear after just one bite. Boy! That would be some recipe.

How I wish, wish, wish my magical abilities went beyond baking. Way beyond.
“No worries.”

I open one eye. Ashton’s grin has grown, if that’s possible. His perfect white teeth gleam in the firelight. I open my other eye. He brushes his hand over his forearms and shirt. “Just glad to see you out, Glynna.”

“You can thank me,” Kristeen says.

“Thank you, Krissy.”

“Please, everyone stopped calling me that in elementary school.”

Ashton digs around in one of the ice chests. “Sorry, didn’t mean to offend.” He hands me a wine cooler. “This might be more to your taste.”

“Thanks,” I mumble.
He grabs a couple more bottles of beer and gives each of us a half bow. “Enjoy the party, ladies.”

He walks away, backwards, smiling, firelight reflecting from those perfect chops. He must have his teeth whitened regularly because no one’s teeth are naturally that bright. When his left foot sinks into a low spot, his whole body dips, and he almost falls. Almost.

“Nice recovery,” Kristeen whispers.

I nod. Whenever Ashton Bass is within twenty yards of me, my tongue ties in knots and my heart races pell mell around my ribcage.

Sounds interesting, right? Now our moment of truth *drum roll*

Cupcakes+andKisses+Final

Release Date: November 18th, 2014

Meet the authors, Heidi Garrett and Billie Limpin.

heidi, new

Heidi Garrett is the author of the Daughter of Light series, a fantasy about a young half-faerie, half-mortal searching for her place in the Whole. She’s also the author of the contemporary fairy tale novella collection, Once Upon a Time Today. In these stand-alone retellings of popular and obscure fairy tales, adult characters navigate the deep woods of the modern landscape to find their Happily Ever Afters.

Heidi is collaborating with Billie Limpin to write The Magic Cupcake series, a special blend of magic, romance, and humor.

Heidi was born in Texas, and in an attempt to reside in as many cities in that state as she could, made it to Houston, Lubbock, Austin, and El Paso. She now lives in Eastern Washington state with her husband, their two cats, her laptop, and her Kindle. Being from the South, she often contemplates the magic of snow.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

AuthorBillie

Billie Limpin lives in the Philippines where the sun always shines and people always smile!

A  hopeless romantic inside and out, when Billie’s not swooning over a book boyfriend (which she often does!), you’ll probably catch her daydreaming (over a fictional character!). A reader by heart, and now a writer for the first time, she’s thrilled to put her daydreams into written words.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

For this cover reveal there’s a giveaway for you guys. The only thing you should do is click the link below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter Giveaway

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Beautiful Beautiful by Heidi Garrett

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Welcome to my first blog tour, my fellow blogger. This blog tour is hosted by Shane Morgan from Itching for Books. In this blog tour I’m also doing an interview with the lovely Ms. Garrett, and not only interview there is an interesting giveaway too. All you have to do is click the link below. Let’s this blog tour begins…………..

BeautifulBeautiful

Book Description:

Movie director Karen Mayham has an eye for beauty. Now her years of struggling on the indie film circuit are about to pay off. She’s the frontrunner to win Golden Pinnacle’s Director of the Year. Winning will mean generous financial backing for her next project, and the most bankable actors in the industry are already signaling interest in the leading role. How will she decide which Adonis is right for the part of Demion Glass?

In this contemporary retelling of the eponymous Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, Karen’s journey leads her to discover a deeper meaning of beauty.

My Thoughts

 “Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”

  Hans Christian Andersen

Have you ever felt the blurb of the book you want to read mislead you when you finish reading the book? I often feel that way. When I want to read a book, I usually check on the blurb first, if it isn’t from my favorite authors. Sometimes it suits with the story and I really enjoy it but other times it doesn’t do the story justice. The blurb of this novella is one of those misleading blurbs, but in a good way, the opposite of what I used to feel. This story has so much more and an interesting one than what the blurb said.

From the blurb I can tell that it is divided into 2 parts. One part is when Kerrin tells her daughter a bedtime story. A story that has a fairy tale vibe which is in fact is her life that leads me to second parts. The more I read, I didn’t think Kerrin fairy tale was suitable for her daughter, Mibi. It was too dark and heavy for her. But then I think it was her way to show Mibi about life and beauty in the simplest way and was her way to deal with her past. Both parts intertwined each other. What she couldn’t tell Mibi, she told me through third person narrative. And at the same time, I understand her feeling of her own fairy tale. She’s smart, witty and always feels lonely. In some part I want to tell her to stop thinking of being a victim of her past and glad when she finally can get through it.

But what I most love from this novella is its unpredictable story. Although from the first line I’ve already known who Kerrin will be with, it can kept me thinking why and how she will be with him. I just love the surprises and twists in it. It’s like whatever what I thought the story will go, it ended up surprised me. I think it was kind of useless to guess it. Maybe it was because I haven’t read Beauty of Foam and Beauty of Mind by Hans Christian Andersen which is the source of this retelling, but I think even if you’ve read it you can still enjoy this story. It’s well written with good plot and different from fairy tale that I used to read.

My Playlist

About The Author

Heidi Garrett is the author of the contemporary fairytale novella collection, Once Upon a Time Today. In these stand-alone retellings of popular and obscure fairy tales, adult characters navigate the deep woods of the modern landscape to find their Happily Ever Afters.

She is also the author of The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series, a fairy tale/high fantasy mashup about a young half-faerie, half mortal woman who must save both the Enchanted and Mortal Worlds.

Heidi was born in Texas, and in an attempt to reside in as many cities in that state as she could, made it to Houston, Lubbock, Austin, and El Paso. She also spent a decade in southern California, but was disappointed to discover it seldom rains there. Now Heidi lives in Eastern Washington state where she’s content experiencing the four seasons with her husband, their two cats, her laptop, and her Kindle.

Being from the South, she often contemplates the magic of snow and hopes to remind readers that: Once Upon A Time You Lived in an Enchanted World Too…

The Interview

heidigarrett

Why do you write fantasy books?

All fiction is fantasy, in that it is made up. However, I compare “reality fiction” and “fantasy fiction” to “photorealism” and “impressionism” in art. Photo realism is a painstaking and highly skilled replication of reality, as most, or many of us, would see it from the eyes of a camera, undistorted. Impressionism takes the same scene and inflicts a deeply personal perceptive upon it. The impressionists and postimpressionists—Cezanne, Degas, Monet, van Gogh, and Gaugin—added their vision of the world to their work.

When you’re writing non-fantasy fiction, you want the reader to feel like they are in the normal, everyday world, like this is happening, and the story you’re telling could be something that could happen to them, or to their sister or friend—perhaps something they could flip on the news and watch. However, when you write fantasy, you and the reader know many of these things could—and would—never actually happen… except, perhaps, they do—in our dreams and our imagination.

There is much debate about reality. Is reality seeded in our thoughts and imaginations? If that’s true, how does the collective reality of a family, a state, a country, or a world work? Are our dreams unreal? If our imagination is not “real,” how can it become so powerful, and consuming, at times?

For me, I can have the feeling “the world is too much with me,” and when I focus too much on facts, and information, the world becomes crispy, dry, and dull around me. I crave the possibility and mystery the inner realms offer.

Writing fantasy is a way of bridging the inner and outer worlds, and like rain, it freshens reality. Whether you’re reading or writing fantasy—a new perspective, a delightful moment, a unique comprehension occurs—you return to the real world with new awareness or insight.

I suppose, that’s why I write fantasy, because I believe the things that we can’t see, are as powerful as the things we can see, and that we must imagine great characters to become them.

What are your favorite things about reading fantasy books?

The escape from the real world, and the inspiration they provide.

Before The Queen of The Realm of Faerie, did you write any stories? If you did, where are they now.

Yes, I’ve been writing inconsistently for many years. I have at least three buried novels and many incomplete stories. The last I saw them, they were all on some floppy disc never be retrieved!

What is the hardest thing you face when you write?

The blank page. Sometimes it’s hard to get started. Whether it’s the beginning of a book, the beginning of a chapter, or the beginning of the end, it all starts with a blank page. Nothingness. That page seems not to care at all whether it remains blank until eternity. So for me, the moment between writing and not writing is the most treacherous. But, I have found, that if I will begin to fill the page, sooner or later, I will tap into something—an energy, a source of inspiration—and then, the writing becomes, if not easy, then at least, possible.

What are your favorite books when you were a little?

When I was a young child, my favorite stories were about Curious George, and pretty much anything by Dr. Seuss. Although, Happy Birthday to You! was probably my most favorite. When I got a little older, I fell in love with The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Three Investigator series. By the time I hit puberty it was: Lord of the Rings, Salem’s Lot,  and the Angelique series!

Are there any authors who inspire you’re writing The Queen of The Realm of Faerie? Who are they?

The traditional fantasy authors—J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis—were big influences. The world-building, the epic quality of the story, and the purity of love between Melia and Ryder, are heavily influenced by The Lord of the Rings. However, Carlos Castaneda’s Yaqui Indian shaman, don Juan,  and Lewis’ The Last Battle, specifically, influenced the cosmology of the Whole. The Dragon’s of Babel by Michael Swanwick seeded Umbra.

What is the most enjoyable moment from writing?

When things start clicking. You’re writing, and then the story starts coming through you. Time passes, you get up from your chair, and you’re like, “Who wrote that?” The thing is written, but you don’t feel like you did it.

My husband and I are actually beginning to believe that it’s our cat, Jack, who’s writing these stories.

 What is the most uncomfortable moment while you are writing?

When every idea you have is stupid, cliche, boring, and you know it. But you can’t think of anything else at the moment.

 Is there any particular time to write?

Although, I can’t make a regular schedule of it, my favorite times to write are early in the morning, and late at night.

 If you aren’t a writer what would you become?

The next indie singer/songwriter sensation, lol. I don’t know. If I could set aside my need to write, I might go into something like public relations. I’m completely fascinated by modern ways of connecting.

Is there any part of you, or someone close to you, in books you wrote?

The spring faerie, Flora, in The Queen of the Realm of Faerie was inspired by my beloved grandma. Although, Grandma was petite and had much greater social decorum, the essence of Flora, captures Grandma’s spirit. Her endurance and embrace of life—in spite of great loss.

 Also, Melia’s relationship with Flora is pivotal in her coming into her own power, as my relationship with my grandma was pivotal to my becoming a woman. However, Melia is not, specifically, based on me. Although, I’m sure she possesses some of my qualities—perhaps, ones I’m not aware of.

 The relationship between Melia and Ryder is influenced by my relationship with my husband. We met, and that was kind of it—so that was the inspiration for Nandana’s mark! However, like Melia and Ryder, despite our mutual attraction, we didn’t become involved right away, either.

My latest releases, the three short stories, The Girl Who Watched for Elves, The Girl Who Dreamed of Red Shoes, and The Girl Who Couldn’t Sing, are as close to fictional autobiography as I will go—and it’s pretty close. Although they are fictionalized, they are each based on real life experiences I’ve had.

 I did spend an interesting afternoon with a Tarot reader. I was enthralled by Clarissa Pinkola Estes audiobook, The Red Shoes: On Torment and Recovery of Soul Life. And I did spend some years as a singer/songwriter on the local indie circuit. However, not every single thing in those stories is fact!

 For years, I’ve been encouraged to tell my story, but—like many people—I’ve had some dark moments. I never wanted to tell the story in a depressing way, and I’m finally happy with the way these stories came out. I love the humor and mysticism that runs through them. Recovering a sense of humor, and a consciousness of the mystical, have been key elements in helping me move forward from my own dark times. Telling the story of leaving the darkness behind, was as important to me as telling the story of life’s difficulties.

 I know that Nandana’s Mark is based on French story and Beautiful Beautiful is a retelling of an HCA story, what made you decide to use those stories? as I’m not familiar with them so I’m kind of think that I read new stories.

 Well, I’m kind of glad to hear those are new stories for you. I’ve always been drawn to the unusual, the offbeat, the stuff on the fringe. I’m always the last to read the most popular books, like the Harry Potter books and Twilight series.

When I began developing The Queen of the Realm of Faerie, I was very clear that I wanted it to be a spinoff. During my research, I came across an old collection of Time-Life books. They contained many wonderful fairy tales that I’d never heard of before. Initially, I narrowed it down to four stories about the myrtle tree fairy, the rose-petal fairy, the swan lovers, and Melusine. I’d planned to have each story’s main character sit on the Grey Council. However, the world and story I was building for The Queen of the Realm of Faerie was becoming too unwieldy. I had to winnow things out. Out of those four fairy tales, I settled on the Tale of Melusine. I’d already begun doing some of the writing, and the scenes connected to her story, were the ones I felt most passionate about.

 For the first fairy tale in the Once Upon a Time Today collection, again, I was looking for something off the beaten path. Going through The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairytales, the title ‘Beautiful’ jumped out at me. As soon as I read the story, I knew it was the first story I wanted to retell. Beauty—and its many faces—has always intrigued me. Telling a story, that touched on different kinds of beauty, would allow me to explore that enigma.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and don’t forget to give a try to Beautiful Beautiful. I love it and I think you will love it too.

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Beautiful Beautiful by Heidi Garrett

Hello my friends, I’m so excited now because I’m doing something different today, a cover reveal! This is my very first time join the cover reveal, hosted by Shane Morgan from Itching for Books, without further ado please check out Heidi Garrett’s Beautiful Beautiful. BeautifulBeautiful

Release date: November 15th 2013
Series: Once Upon a Time Today #1
Publisher: Half-Faerie Publishing
Synopsis via Goodreads

Movie director Karen Mayham has an eye for beauty. Now her years of struggling on the indie film circuit are about to pay off. She’s the frontrunner to win Golden Pinnacle’s Director of the Year. Winning will mean generous financial backing for her next project, and the most bankable actors in the industry are already signaling interest in the leading role. How will she decide which Adonis is right for the part of Demion Glass?

In this contemporary retelling of the eponymous Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, Karen’s journey leads her to discover a deeper meaning of beauty.

Beautiful Beautiful, a contemporary fairytale novella, is the first release in Heidi Garrett’s new Once Upon a Time Today collection.

About the Author
heidigarrett

Heidi Garrett is the author of the contemporary fairytale novella collection, Once Upon a Time Today. In these stand-alone retellings of popular and obscure fairy tales, adult characters navigate the deep woods of the modern landscape to find their Happily Ever Afters.

She is also the author of The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series, a fairy tale/high fantasy mashup about a young half-faerie, half mortal woman who must save both the Enchanted and Mortal Worlds.

Heidi was born in Texas, and in an attempt to reside in as many cities in that state as she could, made it to Houston, Lubbock, Austin, and El Paso. She also spent a decade in southern California, but was disappointed to discover it seldom rains there. Now Heidi lives in Eastern Washington state where she’s content experiencing the four seasons with her husband, their two cats, her laptop, and her Kindle.

Being from the South, she often contemplates the magic of snow and hopes to remind readers that: Once Upon A Time You Lived in an Enchanted World Too…

heidigwrites.blogspot.com | twitter.com/heidigwrites

You can sign-up for Heidi’s monthly newletter and receive a lavender & gold Half-Faerie bracelet here:

 

Review: Queen of the Realm of Faerie #3, The Dragon Carnivale by Heidi Garrett

17570539Blurb from Goodreads

Energies in the Enchanted World are shifting and new alliances are forming; the Battle of Dark and Light has begun. The half-faerie Melia is desperate to make things right with Ryder, the young priest from Idonne, but first she must warn the halfbloods in the Mortal World that Umbra is coming for them, and face the powerful Dragonwitch and her spectacular Dragon Carnivale.

The Queen of the Realm of Faerie is a five-book series inspired by the 14th century French fairy tale, Melusine. The final books Half-Mortal (#4) and War & Grace (#5) will be released in 2014.

ebook,
Published June 18th 2013 by Half-Faerie Publishing
edition language: English
series: Queen of the Realm of Faerie
genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
My Thoughts
An engaging story. Checked.
This is the continuation of Melia’s journey she takes it directly from book 2, Flower of Isbelline. She and Tatou travel back to Illialei to find Uncle Raffles. But few chapters in the beginning of the story kind of annoyed me. I feel like the author betrayed me because I do hope Melia meet him without incident. Her journey never easy, I just wish that even if only once, she gets what she wants easily. So, when she *SPOILER* couldn’t meet Uncle Raffles and instead trapped in Princess Lilliane’s black magic *END of SPOILER* I feel her journey to Illialei is useless. But then I realize in one way, her journey is supposed to be never easy, she has a huge responsibility to the Enchanted World and it’s kind of prepare her. I also realize those few chapters are the way the author introduced Princess Lilliane who, apparently, has an important role in the story. As the story goes, there are many different things happen at the same time. Some of it needs more attention from me to understand it, other part are what I wish will happen to the characters. But, I can never guess where the story goes. It’s like when I prepare myself to read one thing, another different thing happens. Including what happen with Ryder. He’s so foolish I want to scream at him and ask him why he lets it happen, not after the similar thing happened in Flower of Isbelline. I think I need time to forgive him even if he has good reason to do what he did and Melia and other understand his action. With all of things happen in Melia’s journey, one thing for sure I can’t stop reading until I finished it and the surprises make the story better. I love the feeling when I can’t guess it even when it kind of irritated me and I want to scream to the characters 😀
Lovable characters. Checked.

Melia, Flora, Tatou, Ryder, Uncle Raffles, Sinjiin even Umbra, Sevondi, Princess Lilliane and other characters are have different perspective seeing the same thing. All of them are have their own virtue and vice. They have their own flaws and reasons. Therefore, I see them equal, thing that I didn’t see in Nandana’s Mark and Flower of Isbelline. Umbra can be the bad guy in The Enchanted World from some of characters eyes but for another he is the vassel to rebalance The Enchanted World, as strange as it is, I can understand it. That’s why I love them all but my favorite of course Melia and Flora. Love Flora for her witty-wisdom-sarcastic spring faerie attitude and Melia because she has so much on her shoulder but finally accepts it and willing to take the risk. Her training with Flora, Uncle Raffles, Sinjiin and Tatou is a great way for her acceptance but I think she began her training from the beginning of the story, when she met the siren, Calista and Bertille. I especially love this scene because I can relate it.

Beautifully written. Checked.

I already fall in love with the world building from book one but here, with many different things happen at the same time, I more realize the complexity of The Enchanted World. Each place well describe and it’s beautifully written.

Result: 5 of 5 stars

Finding a good friend through a good book

 “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

― Mark Twain

I never see myself as a talk-active person. I need time to be comfortable to talk to people. Some say I’m a snob, some other think I’m a shy girl. But when people know me enough, they’re kind of surprise, at least that was what my friends said. They never thought that I can talk non-stop and quite funny too, though a little weird 😀 I also never pay attention to social media while most of my friends are addicted to it. I didn’t have a friendster when it’s in its famous. I do have an account on Facebook but it was because my favorite football player who already retired has it and I want to stalk him 😀 The same thing happened with Twitter but with different case and person. When I knew about Goodreads, I know that it’s my thing, a place where I can comfortable talking with “strangers”. I enjoy every minute ever since I joined it, at 2009.

Long story short, one day on December 2012, I kept talking about the movie of The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey which just released a few days before and how much I love JRR Tolkien and Peter Jackson works. I only got few responds but they didn’t mind I kept writing about my craziness 😀 One of them only said “Rachmi is so crazy about Tolkien” a couple times in order to respond my posts. And then there was a respond, from someone named Heidi. Her respond was like I finally found my long lost friend. And just like two long lost friends, we seems couldn’t stop talking, most of our post were a long one. Thinking about it now, I’m surprised other members didn’t complaint about it 😀

A couple months before I met her, I downloaded a free e-book called Nandana’s Mark from Smashwords. It’s been a long time since I read my favorite genre, fantasy, so when I knew about it I thought I’ll give it a try. But somehow I always skip it. I didn’t join a fantasy group, instead I’m a member of YA books, a new genre for me and seems can’t take my eyes off it ever since I joined Goodreads. At the same time, Heidi and I kept talking without I even realized that she’s the author of Nandana’s Mark and the awesome thing is she didn’t talk about it either. I often get friend request from someone who has a lot of friends but seems read few books, at least they didn’t show it on their read shelf. Anyhow, I learn that they mostly are authors. I’m really happy and honored to be friend with authors but if they ask me to be friend just because they want to promote their book, I’m not interested. I want them willing to communicate with me as their reader, not only as their potential readers.

Then, on January 2013 my other awesome Goodreads best friend, Billie from http://sparklingpinkpages.blogspot.com and I wanted to read Nandana’s Mark. That was when I realized about Heidi being as an author. I was more than surprised. It was mostly about why she didn’t tell me about it, she doesn’t like any authors who ask friend request to me. If I ever doubt that she’s truly want to be my friend, I think that was the moment when I believe it. After that, I feel that we got closer than before. We talk about anything and nothing, from LoTR to how to make a whipped cream, from healthy diet to how exotic my address sounds to her, from her experience attending Twilight discussion to how weird Benedict Cumberbatch last name is.

Now, I consider she is one of my Goodreads best friends that I’m willing to meet face to face one day if it’s possible. Today is her birthday and I want to say:

Edinor veren Heidi! Nai tiruvantel ar varyuvantel i Valar tielyanna nu vilya. No in elenath hîlar nan hâd gîn (Happy Birthday Heidi, may the Valar protect you on your path under the sky. May stars shine upon your path). You are such an amazing person and talented author. I hope you all the best.

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If you guys doesn’t know her books. She wrote The Queen of Realm of the Faerie. It’s YA high fantasy series. She’s already published 3 books and one compilation of those books with more books will come in the future, the closest will be book 4, Half Mortal. As her best friend (I hope so *wink*), of course I already have all of them, here its picture:

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I also have half-faeries bracelets. She gave it to me and if you want maybe she still has it (you should ask her, though). My sister and her best friends are also wearing it.

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half-faerie 6

If you are a fantasy lover, maybe you can give her books a try but if fantasy is not you thing I think you will like her as a person 😀 So if you want to ask her those beautiful half-faerie bracelets, or want to know about her books, or even just say hello you can stop by at her blog http://heidigwrites.blogspot.com.

Review: Queen of the Realm of Faerie #2, Flower of Isbelline by Heidi Garrett

The Flower of Isbelline (Queen of the Realm of Faerie #2)

Blurb from Goodreads

Now, the half-faerie Melia must save her sister from a false marriage, and their world from a dark power. Her sister is determined to pursue their father’s damning legacy—even if the cost of denying true love is apocalyptic. Melia races to possess the magic basin and sword, but will she be in time to stop her beautiful sister from unleashing the powerful Umbra from the Void?

The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series is inspired by the 14th century French fairy tale, Melusine.

ebook, 3rd edition, 195 pages
Published December 2012 by Half-Faerie Publishing
edition language: English
genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
series: Queen of the Realm of Faerie #2
My Thoughts
This second book of The Queen of The Realm of Faerie series is the beginning of Melia’s journey. In the end of Nandana’s Mark we knew that Plantine was captivated by Lord Zacharia Goring. He needs her as Umbra’s ‘body’. In order to avoid Umbra’s incarnation Melia together with Ryder and Sinjiin have to prevent it. And so her journey begins.
Like other fantasy stories, Melia needs companion to help her along her journey. Aside Ryder and Sinjiin, Flora, Tuck and Tatou accompany her. Each companion has own purposes and different from Melia’s goal but it makes the story interesting because in some way they have to make priority.If you think Nandana’s Mark was slow-paced, you wouldn’t find it here. This story is fast-paced and there are a lot of actions. I mean there are surprises and more adventure than book one because Melia’s journey didn’t easier. Although her main purpose is to go to Stronghold, she has to take many routes with interesting adventure. Each journey intertwined and influenced each other.

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As a sequel, Ms. Garrett didn’t waste time and pages to tell the story. The introduction of the world building and the characters had already done in Nandana’s Mark. It made this book worked faster than the prequel. And make me as a reader couldn’t keep my eyes of it. I also love the way she introduce her next focus character from previous book. It’s like she prepares it for her reader to pay more attention to her next characters, at least that’s what I felt. In Nandana’s Mark she told Flora only in two chapters but then she has bigger role here. She is one of Melia’s companions. Similar case for Sevondi, the dragonwitch also has more stories here (and after the cover and the title of book 3 reveal) I bet main focus of The Dragon Carnivale, will be about her. It makes me think that she indeed writes her books as a series. She has already planned it before wrote it.
But I have to admit that I’m quite hard to connect to the time setting in The Realm of Faerie that seems parallel to my time, with the guns and movies that mention in it. But then again, I guess I have to adjust my mind and keep remember that it indeed has the same time as our world.
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All in all, I love this sequel more than Nandana’s Mark and look forward for book #3, Dragon Carnivale.
Result: 4/5 Stars
*Paintings courtesy of Allan Lee.

Review: Queen of the Realm of Faerie #1, Nandana’s Mark

Nandana's Mark (Queen of the Realm of Faerie, #1)Blurb from Goodreads

As a half-faerie and an outcast, Melia longs to fly–like her mother and the other fullblood faeries. However, her lack of wings becomes the least of her concerns when startling visions of destruction, linked to her father’s ambitions, escalate. Desperate to stop them, Melia visits the Illustrator and receives a strange mark on her forehead. The mark will draw a green-eyed stranger–one who shares her obsessions–to the Realm of Faerie.

The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series is inspired by the 14th century French fairy tale, Melusine.

ebook, 210 pages
Published August 14th 2012 by Half-Faerie Publishing
edition language: English
genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
series: Queen of the Realm of Faerie #1
My Thoughts
Fantasy is my most favorite genre. It’s full of imagination and magic. I didn’t mean other genre doesn’t have it but fantasy book always has stories beyond my imagination and allow my thought wandering to the mystical place with awesome characters. Nandana’s Mark has a lot of thing a fantasy book I loved and it contains with characters from original story. I love when story takes from the original. A story that I used to know then the author creates a new one. Here I met elves, faeries, trolls, witches, dwarves with their metalwork skill, serpentine and even a tool that can see what happen in the present and future, a tool similar to the mirror of Galadriel or Dumbledore’s Pensieve. Here it called Ormrun, a bejeweled basin forged by Gweff, the dwarf.
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I have to admit it was a little bit hard reading this book in the beginning of the story. There are a lot of name for a lot of character and places. In some parts I cannot differentiate whether it is a place or character’s name. On the other hand, I love those names. It feels and sounds suitable with the story. The elves and faeries name sounds beautiful, as beautiful as their appearance. The places name match with its magical world. I even think one of the character’s names, Ryder, is a good choice for him. He isn’t from The Realm of Faerie so his name has sound different from Melia’s kin but fit with the whole story. I kind of hope his name has another meaning, more than just a word to call him. Just like Aragorn who also known as Strider. Yet, I like the way Ms. Garrett wrote her story. The writing was beautiful and flawless. I can’t believe this is her debut. She and her editor surely did a great job.
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Another thing that quite hard for me was its geography. After read chapter one I knew that there are two worlds, The Enchanted World and Mortal World. At first I thought that The Enchanted World is consists of Illialei and Tyrannis then I read about Ryder. I feel he isn’t from The Enchanted World but I know that he isn’t from Mortal World either. That left me a question where is he come from? Then it reveals in a couple more chapters that The Enchanted World actually consists of The Realm of Faerie and many other places while Illialei and Tyrannis are countries in The Realm of Faerie. The Realm of Faerie itself described in chapter 11 so I misinterpreted it for 10 chapters. It kind of irritated me, but to be honest I actually can avoid it if I look at in the back of the book. There are glossaries in the back but I’m kind of person who don’t like to look at the end of the book to avoid spoiler. So I didn’t realize there are glossaries in it until a while. It taught me to look carefully to book’s contents though 😀To avoid the confusion of its geography I think it will be good if Ms. Garrett put a map on the book or even better 2 maps. A map about The Realm of the Faerie put in the front and The Enchanted World in the back of the book. I bet it will help readers to read and picture it easily.

Other than that, I love Nandana’s Mark, it has everything I love from fantasy book. I honestly think it needs to be recognized and read by many readers.
Result: 4/5 Stars