Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blog Tour: Innovera Yakov by Kia Garriques

YANR_BlogTour_IV_RDB Title: Innovera Yakov By: Kia Garriques Summary: Innovera Yakov is a beautiful world of crystals that turns under five moons and two brilliant suns that never set. Flitters take care of domestic chores while Starbirds and Starflies soar through the never-ending sunlight of this crystalline world. The Circle of Knowing decides their fate; the forbidden forests of the Dimmer Zone swallow trespassers. And at the very edges of Innovera Yakov there is the terrifying watery darkness of Verheer. We meet Ayana, the healer and lonely outcast with her scarred face; Vinton, her protector (or is he her imaginary friend?); Gamma and Blu Tara, the beautiful, fiery twins who can kill with one look. These twins are important characters in the book. They could hardly be more different from each other. Krave, beloved by Gamma, hated by Blu Tara, ‘tall and upright as a polished spear with a beautiful crop of golden hair that cascaded down his back in waves’; his ‘brother’ Skylar, pure trouble with ‘muscles on his arms and legs that stood out in lumps’; Ryder with his crystal spear, forever seeking Ayana’s approval although she, refusing to believe she's worth it, can only wonder, ‘What does he see in me?’ And Ice, mysterious, dangerous, murderous with eyes like bright furnaces who feeds on Innoverans. These young Innoverans are often haunted by a forgotten past recalled only in strange dreams. They form friendships, make enemies and face constant physical and emotional challenges that test them to their limits. They have amazing powers; they can fly, they can communicate through 'thought-words', their minds can travel to other worlds. They harbour secrets. But life is not easy on Innovera Yakov and the young Beings must live in constant fear of Blu Tara; ‘What I want, I have. What I can’t have, I destroy.’ They find that the great powers they are gifted with are nothing compared to the dangers they face. They must shelter from Solar-storms. To fall in love is dangerous. Lovers long to combine to become stronger, better Beings but it can go terribly wrong and when that happens they perish. Their survival is further threatened by Ice, who consumes Innoverans and holds both Blu Tara and Ayana in his control. Everyone seeks a partner with whom they can ‘merge.’ This desire to ease the passage through life by joining forces with a true companion, is one of the main themes of the story. Love for Blu Tara, is a terrible thing. She tells her sister, ‘It is a curse. You will scoop out your core and abandon it just to have the Being that you love... You will steal another person’s life force if it makes it easier to get it. You will kill or die for it. And you’ll hate yourself for the weakness that it brings on you.' They are told that they must embark on 'The Journey', this journey will be more terrifying than any of them could imagine and a strong leader must be elected from their midst. They are shocked to discover who that leader is, none more so than the chosen one herself. Many of them will perish as they make their way through the watery darkness of Verheer while battling the army of underworld warriors bent on destroying and consuming them. Finally, diminished in strength and numbers, they reach their journey’s end only to learn the final brutal truth. innovera


Blu Tara stared her sister in the face. ‘Let me tell you what you don't know about love, Gamma. It is a curse. You will scoop out your core and abandon it just to have the Being that you love. You will steal another person's life force if it makes it easier to get it. You will abandon the world you have been cradled in, betray everything and everyone you care for. You’ll give up your name for it.’ Blu Tara's voice went soft and dreamy. ‘You will gladly close your eyes and embrace the world of darkness. You will kill or die for it. And you will hate yourself for the weakness that it brings on you. So don’t talk to me about love.’ Gamma shook her head. ‘You're not making sense,’ Blu Tara. ‘You talk as if... I’m the one who should be upset about all this.’ Blu Tara lifted her hand dismissively. She pointed a hot finger at Gamma. ‘Anyway don’t forget what we are.’ 'And what are we?’ Gamma glared at her.. 'Different. Strange. Something to be frightened of. Two Beings that can fuse and burn everything to ashes. That's the way they all see us down there. That's what the Stardog wants from you - the powers you possess. ‘I hate them all. With their suspicious, shiny faces and their empty games. I hate that Voice which drones on and on at us in the Learning Dome as soon as we've finished resting. Innoverans! All those perfect, pretty Beings; they remember nothing — it’s the curse of this shallow, shining world. Tell me, Gamma - what do you remember of the world we come from before your Odors Apeno dumped us here?’ Gamma swung around to face her sister fully. ‘Blu Tara! What's got into you? Where’s all that coming from? I've never heard you speak like that before. This is about Krave and I- not you!’ Krave and you - don't make me laugh. And, oh! Here’s a big difference — between you and I this time, Twin Sister. It’s the answer to your question that you brought me up here to ask.’ Blu Tara mimicked Gamma's soft and musical voice, Why do you want to kill Krave? Here's the answer, Gamma. I will do whatever I have to do to save myself. I'm the half of you that's not like you. I don't have a weeping heart. Now I'm out of here. I need my Rest.
  Reviewers Wanted: Review Innovera Yakov on amazon for your chance to Win A Kindle Fire. Love reading and reviewing books? Want the chance to win a Kindle Fire? Kia Garriques’ Innovera Yakov fantasy series launches today on Amazon with The Journey of a Thousand Eyes. This story is an action-packed fantasy drama where characters with powers of healing and destruction live, love, compete and disappear without a trace while they are being prepared for the Journey. To celebrate the launch of ‘Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes’, Kia is giving away a Kindle Fire to one lucky winner, as well as the chance of having their work promoted by Kia herself across her website and social media. To enter the competition, simply follow these instructions below: 1.Write a short review on Amazon about your favourite scene from the book, who your favourite is and why, and what you think the main message of the book is 2.Then, send an email to including a link back to your review on Amazon, in order to be entered into the competition. Put the title ‘Innovera Yakov Kindle Competition’ in the subject line of the email. The winning entry will be the most creative and original response to the book and will be chosen by Kia Garriques herself. In addition, the top ten inspiring entries will have their work promoted in a blog which Kia is currently working on, called ‘Up and Coming Writers to Watch in 2013’. In recognition of their creativity, Kia will be turning the spotlight on these writers by presenting their biographies and a link to their current work. RULES: 1:This competition will run from the launch of ‘Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes’ on today and is open to entrants from any country 2: Anyone may enter, but entries are limited to one per person 3: The winner will be selected by Kia Garriques after the first 250 reviews have been received. Make sure to get your entry in early to stand the best possible chance of being entered into the competition and winning your very own Kindle. If you send your review of Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes before March 31st 2013, then you will be eligible to win a $20 amazon gift card. Be sure to send on your review via email to to claim this exclusive offer or leave a link to your amazon review in Kia’s Wattpad comment section. So, what are you waiting for? Get ‘Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes’ now and prepare to enter a whole new world of magic and mystery, danger and adventure. Click here to get the ebook on amazon now. Author Links Twitter Goodreads Facebook Tumblr Wattpad Pinterest Website Audio Link to listen to the first chapter of the book. Read the first chapter of the book here Author Bio Kia Garriques studied writing and English literature at University and has been a published short story writer since 2009. Her first story “The Invisible Alien Watcher” was published by Micro Horror in 2009 and reprinted by Pill Hill Press in 2011. Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes – is her first novel in the ‘Worlds’ series and will be out on amazon mid February. visit to read the first chapter. Book Blurb: Innovera Yakov – The Journey of A Thousand Eyes takes you into a world of excitement and danger where thoughts and feelings are overheard and minds can travel to other worlds. Be prepared to immerse yourself in a world where falling in love could cost you your life and nothing is as it seems. Innovera Yakov – The Journey of A Thousand Eyes is the first book in an action-packed fantasy drama series where characters with powers of healing and destruction live, love, compete and disappear without a trace while they are being prepared for the Journey.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Book Review: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

Henry’s fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry’s gay roommate and teammate, becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the Harpooners’ team captain and Henry’ best friend, realizes he has guided Henry’s career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert’s daughter, returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life.

As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets. In the process they forge new bonds, and help one another find their true paths. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment—to oneself and to others.

*Summary from Goodreads

When I first started this book I thought it was going to be strictly about baseball. Some of you are probably thinking that sounds crazy with all the people that have been talking about it and reviewing it but when I know I want to read a book I make sure I don't listen to what people are saying about the book so I am surprised by it when I read it. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Now, on with the review.

Plot: The plot of this book was fantastic. I'm a sports nut. I love reading about sports, writing about sports, and playing sports. So, I loved the baseball aspect of this book, especially that the Cardinals were worked into the plot. Being born and raised in St. Louis, I'm a total homer for the Cardinals. So bonus points to Chad for that. 

The non-sports aspect of the plot was one of the best crafted plots I've read in a very, very long time. Chad does a fantastic job of weaving the stories of all the characters together. I'm not an author, but I would think that it's got to be incredibly difficult to wind some many complex stories together. Chad Harbach has crafted a gem in "The Art of Fielding". He has managed to intertwine baseball, failed relationships, new beginnings, college life, adult life, and many other things into a masterful story about baseball and growing in life. 

Characters: The characters in this book are fantastic. There is a depth and relate-ability to these characters that is hard to find in many books today. There is a character in this book that relates to everyone that reads it. I think this is the case because the characters are dealing with real world situations that are easily related to by anyone. Sometimes in the realm of fiction, the author struggles to make the character realistic enough to relate to. That's not the case in this book. This may be my favorite set of characters since I started reviewing books on this blog. 

Readership: This is one of those rare books the transcends a specific genre. Yes, it's fiction and it has sports in it, but it's also got so many more things that I don't want to post on here because it would ruin the plot for potential readers. I think this book would appeal to sports fans, fiction fans, romance fans, suspense fans, etc...Basically I'm saying that I think anyone can read this book and find joy in it. This is a book for all people that love reading. 

Overall Score: 5/5 One of the best books I've ever read.