Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Thousand Steps Home by Elle Bor [Book Review,Author Interview & Giveaway]

Contemporary Fiction
Publication.Date  March 27th 2014
Published By:  Amazon Digital Services
WebsiteElle Bor

A Thousand Steps Home Goodreads
My review copy:I received a copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. 

                                     Where to get:

A woman haunted by tragedy, is unable to resist the alluring calls of her past. Plagued by her longing for answers, retribution, and her one true love, she returns to the island of Corona where her placeholder remains a mere plot in the cemetery. As her questions remain unsolved, she embarks on a journey to connect the dots, linking her to a new name, a different person, and a new life altogether. But now, a lost soul covets the enigma of the life she used to know, and she must pay the ultimate price for her insatiable thirst to seek the truth. Coerced by her unyielding pursuit, she asks herself if there is anything left to save.

Mona believes that it is best for me to stay in the United States and forget the ordeal that forced me to move out of the country in the first place. Though she may be right, I am also beginning to feel sick and tired of running away. Over the years, fear started to feel so weakening, like a leech sucking out every life left of me.
I won't be responsible for that much blood on my hands. Remorse will drive me to the grave where I should have been laid to rest ten years ago. In other words, it is in her best interest to be in the dark, in a safe distance from the truth. Someday I'll find a way to tell her.  
I buried my heart with her. I didn't know it then but now I'm sure of it. I didn't have anything to part with but the one great love we had. The best memory of her was kept here.

I had the pleasure to interview Elle after I was done reading her amazing book. Here are her answers. Thanks for being on Bookish today Elle.

1. How did you come up with the story "A Thousand Steps Home"? 

This story came together very slowly, over the course of 4 years. (a midst school, work, and planning a wedding). I have never written anything in a novelist caliber. Short stories and poems were my cups of tea and I had to sort of school myself to the new writing style, flow, and all. In the beginning, I just wanted to write something about the past and unresolved matters of the heart but without giving so much away, I learned to add that certain “zest” to my story. I did so in the hopes that the readers clamor for more without realizing what it is that really got them hooked until the very end. I wanted to steer away from the cliche of “not-another-novel-syndrome”. To be honest, this is very symbolic for me as I had some parallels to Aydele’s life in a sense that there was a part of me holding on to a certain chapter from my past. Even when the years have successfully separated me from that heartache, there were still so many questions. To be able to tie the story in a neat bow was me just allowing that memory to be blown away with the sands of time [cue sappy music]. Answers will come when due but often some words are better left unsaid.

2. What music, if any helped you through the writing of this novel?

 There was no specific music or song that stuck with me while writing- constant breaks and travelling were the key to my creative juices.

3. What advice would you give to an aspiring writer? 

Based on experience, it will be very dark in the beginning as you find your writing style and the genre you best identify with. Read books but do not lock yourself in your room. Go outside and let the soft breeze whisper and guide your creative mind. I know it sounds very dramatic but just expose yourself to the elements and cultures. Not only should you be rich in knowledge but experience as well. Then one day, something just happens when you have desperately hit that backspace/delete key for the millionth time. Suddenly, you’ll know what to do and you would have already pictured your whole story in your mind as if watching a movie. Have faith!

4. Favorite Books? 

The Bridges of Madison County-by Robert James Waller

Love, Rosie- by Cecilia Ahern

Safe Haven-Nicholas Sparks

5. Favorite authors?

Cecilia Ahern, Nicholas Sparks, Emily Giffin, & I grew up reading Sidney Sheldon

6. What are your plans to continue your writing career?

I just started my next novel- well, barely started but I have all the ideas outlined in paper and in my head. It will be exciting! I will start some college classes too but I am unsure when that will happen. I am in the very hectic medical field- veered off course from writing but I will make time to finish. Please stay tuned!

7. What is one thing you've always wanted to do that you haven't yet for whatever reason?

I wanted to go on a long European tour. I love to be immersed in new culture and I am obsessed with architecture- The Eiffel Tower, Gaudi, the likes! Not to mention I am a certified foodie. I haven’t done it for obvious reasons but someday I will before children.

8. What do you think makes a book come alive for a reader, in your opinion?

A book comes out alive with its ability to engage and connect. Sometimes a story so plain can become a masterpiece when the readers are unable to put it down because their senses are almost shackled to the story. You find that you build a relationship with the characters and the emotions are invested to the resolution of the conflict. It really doesn't matter if the protagonist gets to live or die in the end.

I am in still in awe of a new self published author, Elle Bor, that can command the attention of her readers so well. This book was a masterpiece. The language was flawless. The scenery was well detailed and explained. I did think there was a bit too much explanation in some instances but it ended up working out with the way the story fell in. The characters were well developed and worth the story they were given to tell. I am more and more finding myself drawn to indie books as I seem to fall in love with them, more than million dollar book deal authors who have an infinite budget at their disposal. It is the Indie's that need to self promote, grow a following and win your heart over. This author did just that for me!

Ruby was a young teenager when she was forced to leave everything she knew for a life in America that promised safety. She doesn't even remember most of the night that her family died in a fire but she swears she will seek out the people who she knows wronged her and her family. Ten years later Ruby (or Aydele, the name she now goes by) decides to go back to the island of Corona and face the people who robbed her of the life she should have lived. Aydele, leaves a good life, a good job and a good man behind to find the one thing her life has always been missing. Revenge. But will vengeance by sweet or painful for her? Only time will tell.

This is a story with a lot of emotion. It is a story of a girl who was forced to be strong in the wake of grave danger in order to be alive today. It is a story of Ruby who can't seem to let go of the past she so desperately fights daily to leave behind. It is a suspenseful climactic story told well. The reader will be gasping for the next bit of information the author is willing to share.

Originality is this stories middle name. Every time you think you know what is going to happen next, the story does a twist that makes you go "What?", I never saw that coming. Aydele or Ruby whoever you choose to call her is such a strong character. She hangs in even though her emotions get the best of her sometimes. She is resourceful, fast on her feet and so inspiring to read. The reader will be asking for more Aydele in each and every page.

Uncover the secrets of Ruby's past with her, in this amazing author debut. You won't be sorry you took a chance on this Indie Author!

About the Author

Elle Bor is a novelist, short story author, and self –proclaimed poet. Her first published work, A Thousand Steps Home came out on February 2014. She is currently a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. She has been writing since she was eight years old. In high school, she joined the ranks of other student journalists, retaining her position in the school papers year after year. She pursued a formal college education in English and Creative Writing back in the Philippines but was abruptly cut short by her move to the United States. She is currently a medical personnel but is still keen on making it in the writing arena. When she isn't in her literary realm, Elle is most likely on an excursion to discover new places, food-tripping, or just simply catching up on her favorite TV shows.


What you can win: One paperback copy of "A Thousand Steps Home" Thanks Elle!  

Ends: 4/26/2014

Open to:  US & International participants. Please no PO Boxes. 

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