Monday, September 23, 2013

The Coven: Fire & Ice by Verdell Walker (Review & Interview)

Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publication Date:  January 1st 2013
Published By:  Self/CreateSpace
WebsiteVerdell Walker 

The Coven on Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:

After her clique's bullying causes a classmate’s suicide, Kat Grey trades the vicious world of the California “in crowd” for the chance to become a better person in Massachusetts. But when she steps in to protect a classmate from being bullied, Kat sparks a war with Hannah, Milton Academy’s resident Queen Bee.

Kat’s courage and compassion attract the attention of Blaze Ward, Hannah’s ex-boyfriend. As they fall in love, Kat discovers that Blaze is more than the boy next door. He’s a warlock. He is also the leader of an in-crowd like no other – the Brotherhood, five young warlocks charged with defending witches and humanity from a demonic adversary named Seth.

Kat challenges Blaze to become a better man and leader while he helps her find redemption as she makes it her mission to stop bullying at Milton. But when Hannah teams up with Seth to destroy her, Kat becomes a hostage in the age-old war between the Brotherhood and their greatest enemy. Saving Kat will require more than Blaze’s strength and skill; it will mean breaking one of his kind’s most sacred laws. Blaze will have to make a choice: his honor or Kat’s life.

Another shot of—of lightning?! –whizzed past her. The tension on her hair slackened. She heard a dull thud behind her as the blast of whatever-it-was nailed her attacker in the chest and sent him flying backwards. Her rescuers ran past her in a blur.

“A girl who is immune to Blaze Ward’s charms—I do believe this is a first.”

She had hid her intelligence at St. Agnes because being too smart turned boys off. But now she could honestly care less, and the realization made her feel liberated.
Kat stopped thinking for a minute. Wow—that voice. Kate felt a hum go through her. And his fingertips left a trail of fire where they brushed against hers. She could just make out a small scar near his upper lip. The wind blew and tousled his blond hair, making him look like some model. Or a superhero from a movie. 

He really should leave her alone, but his curiosity was piqued. Her courage last night was a major turn-on.

Maybe that was why Hannah was so mean all the time—she was hungry.

Where do I even begin with reviewing this book? I absolutely loved this book! It was so much more than what I was expecting. It was written very well and I was impressed. It's much more than your typical girl-meets-boy romance. It is magical in more than one way. There are witches and warlocks, awesome action scenes, romance, friendship, bullying, a jealous ex-girlfriend, and more.

Kat Grey was born and raised in Beverly Hills, CA. She was the queen bee and she didn't stop her posse from making fun of people or being mean and one of their victims ended up killing herself. When this happened, Kat completely changed. Since her parents had divorced she was living with her dad but now it was time to move to the East and be with her mom. I absolutely loved Kat. It was so nice seeing her become an amazing person. She is definitely one of the best main characters I've read in a while. She took the mistakes she made in Beverly Hills and completely redefined herself in Milton. I applaud her and wish more people realized their mistakes and changed for the better.

I loved the secondary characters as well. Claire (Kat's mom) was a mom I really enjoyed. You could just tell how much love she had for her daughter. Bronwyn reminded me of a few of my best friends and it was really nice being able to connect to the story in that way. And then there was the Brotherhood which consisted of: Blaze, Q, Etienne, Sebastian, and Cody. I loved them and they kicked ass against The Dark Ones (evil, soul-less, face-less minions under their leader, Seth's rule).

The magic that was inside this book was really cool. More than your typical witch powers. Dematerializing, manipulating the weather, morph into any animal, control elements, influence others' minds, and much more. Not to mention Verdell Walker brought in some history with the Salem Witch Trials as well. It was really cool having that within the book.

I also have a new book boyfriend and his name is Maximilian 'Blaze' Ward. He is so dreamy! He's gentlemanly, protective, hot, charming, smart, humorous, and quick-witted. The chemistry that Blaze and Kat have was perfect! I loved reading the scenes between them. They had a lot of obstacles including his ex-girlfriend, Hannah and The Dark Ones, but they prevailed.

I can't wait to get my hands on a sequel because this is just one world I don't want to leave. And Verdell Walker definitely knows how to make swoon-worthy boys and write some pretty awesome action-packed scenes. I will definitely be wanting to read more of her work!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

I honestly can’t attribute it to any one person or thing. It’s my love of the craft. I’m a storyteller. I enjoy building worlds and creating characters. For me, it’s never work or a chore. I deeply and sincerely love my art.

2. How long did it take you to write The Coven: Fire and Ice?  

All in, it took about a year. I spent three months planning it, four months writing, and another three editing and rewriting.

3. While writing how many times do you go back and rewrite a plot?

I would put the number no higher than one time. That’s because I’m an outliner. I devote a lot of time to plotting my books before I even start writing. I plot chapter by chapter. It’s nothing super detailed, just the highlights of the plots. I always like to know where I’m going. I find it easier to let the writing flow once I know the direction I want to take.

4. You run into a bookstore, where do you go first?

The cookbook section – I love cooking and baking!

5. How many books in a month do you tend to read?

I usually get about 1 a month in because I’m so busy with my day job and writing my own books.

6. In all the books you've read. Who is your most favorite character and why?

Catherine, from Karen Cushman’s “Catherine, called Birdy.” That book really resonated with me when I was a kid. Birdy reminded me of myself. She loves books, is hyper-observant about the world around her, and hates it when others try to fit into a mold she knows she doesn’t fit in. Plus, Birdy has a wicked sense of humor! I’m so glad I checked it out that day in the library because I didn’t feel so alone anymore after I’d read it. It was my first inkling that another girl like myself existed.

7. State five random facts about yourself:

  • I’ve been training in belly dance for five years.
  • I speak Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin.
  • I have seen all the James Bond films.
  • My favorite TV show is Xena, Warrior Princess.
  • In addition to sprinting in college, I also competed in the hammer throw.

8. Your favorite Genre? Historical fiction, primarily of Europe and Asia.

9. What are you currently reading?

“The Passage” by Justin Cronin I’ve wanted to read it for a while since I’ve heard nothing but good things about the book. So far, I’m totally hooked!

10. What is the best book you've read?

Oh man, what an excruciatingly difficult question! It would be a toss-up between “Pride and Prejudice”, “Let the Right One In,” and “Daughter of Smoke and Bone.”

11. Any new projects coming up?

I’m working on Book Two as we speak – it will focus on Cody Quintana. I’m shooting for it to be available early next year. In all, I’m planning five books to be in The Coven series, each one focusing on a different member of the Brotherhood.

Where you can find author Verdell Walker:  

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